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Preparing for Surgery

Once you and your doctor decide that surgery will help you, you'll need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.


Working with Your Doctor


  • Before surgery, your doctor will give you a complete physical examination to make sure you don't have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed before any major surgery.

  • Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.

  • Discuss with your doctor options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery.

  • If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your body. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery.

  • If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications or warfarin or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.

  • If you smoke, you should stop one month prior to surgery to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.

  • Any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems should be treated before your surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.

  • Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron before and after surgery.

  • Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.

  • Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.

  • Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won't have to reach and bend as often.

  • Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.

  • Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.

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