When the decision for surgery is made, Mr Lee will discuss with you the benefits and risks of the procedure, as well as what to expect during your recovery period.
If you have any questions or concerns he will be able to answer them for you, it is often useful to keep a list of questions as reminders.
Your medical history will be reviewed to identify any risks to you from surgery or the anaesthetic. You may require blood tests, a heart tracing (ECG), and x-rays. Further tests may be necessary as dictated by your medical history.
We will review your medication, there may be some that you will need to stop prior to surgery.
If you are taking medications that increase your risk of bleeding such as warfarin, aspirin or anti-inflammatories, you will normally need to stop taking these a week before surgery.
If you develop any infections, then please inform us as we will have to postpone surgery until they have been treated.
If you have dental, bowel or bladder problems, it may be advisable to have these treated prior to orthopaedic surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
If you smoke, it is advisable to stop or at least cut down the amount, as smoking has been associated with increased risks after surgery.
Do you require someone to help you home and get you settled in during the first few days when you leave hospital?
Will you need some help with housekeeping and meal preparation?
Are there any potential trip hazards at home? Such as loose rugs or electrical cords?
Consider moving items at home so that they are within easy reach, so that you do not need to bend down too much or stretch too far.
Day of surgery
You will need to make sure that you have not eaten or drunk for 6 hours prior to surgery. This is to ensure your safety during your anaesthetic.
You will be admitted to the ward and reviewed by the anaesthetist who will discuss your anaesthetic. Mr Lee will also come and see you to review your operation and answer any questions that you may have.
When the operation is finished, you will be taken to the recovery area of theatres, where you will be monitored until you have safely recovered enough to be transferred back to the ward. The nursing staff on the ward will look after you during your recovery from surgery. The physiotherapists will also come and see you to start your rehabilitation.
If you have had daycase surgery you will be allowed home on the same day, please see advice below. Otherwise for bigger procedures such as hip or knee replacements you will probably be in hospital for about four days before you are ready to go home.
A follow-up appointment will be made with Mr Lee.
Arthroscopy (keyhole) surgery and some other procedures can be undertaken as a “day-case”. That is you can come in and have surgery and go home on the same day, but important things to remember are:
You have someone available to take you home, having an anaesthetic will affect your ability to drive for 24 hours.
If you live by yourself, you should have someone stay with you overnight.
General anaesthetics affect each person differently, but you should not do anything that is too strenuous. You can do moderate activities, but do not push yourself beyond what your body is telling you. Rest as necessary and keep your operated limb elevated to help control swelling and pain.
Drink plenty of fluids and if you feel hungry eat a light meal.
For 24 hours after surgery you should not:
Drive a car or machinery
Make important decisions
Please take your regular medication as have been prescribed, unless told otherwise.
Make sure you take any painkillers regularly; it is much better to do this than to wait until the pain is severe as this can make controlling your pain difficult.