Once a decision to have surgery is made with your doctor, you will need to know what to expect from the surgery and how to prepare for it to achieve the best results possible. If you are prepared mentally and physically and know your role in the recovery process, you may have fewer problems.
Ask your doctor:
- What type of anaesthetic is it (general anaesthetic, IV sedation, local anaesthetic)?
- How long is the surgery?
- How many days you are staying in the hospital.
- What is the recovery period like?
Inform your doctor of any allergies to medications.
Inform your doctor if you are taking the any of the medications below as you may have to withhold them before the surgery:
- Certain newer diabetic medications such as Forxiga (Dapaglifozin), Jardiance (Empaglifozin), Xigduo XR (Dapaglifozin / Metformin), Glyxambi (Empaglifozin / Linagliptin), Jardiamet (Empaglifozin / Metformin) or Qtern (Saxagliptin/ Dapaglifozin) – have to be stopped 2 to 3 days prior to surgery.
- Aspirin, Plavix, Iscover, Asasantin – have to be stopped 7 days prior to surgery.
- Xarelto, Eliquis (Apixaban) – have to stopped 2 to 3 days prior to surgery.
- Pradaxa, Warfarin – have to be stopped 5 days prior to surgery.
- Brilinta (Ticagrelor) – has to be stopped 10 days prior to surgery.
- Anti-inflammatories such as Brufen, Voltaren, Celebrex.
Some tests (blood tests, urine tests, X-rays or an ECG) may be necessary before the surgery. You should do these tests early enough for the results to come through.
Discuss with your doctor the options for potential blood replacement should you need a transfusion during the surgery. Donating your own blood may be an option. If you are a Jehovah’s witness, you should inform your doctor.
If you have other significant medical history, you may need clearance from other specialists (e.g., cardiologist, anaesthetist, haematologist).
Report any infection that you may have, so they can get treated before the surgery to avoid complications.
Try to stop or cut down on smoking to improve your recovery.
Eat a well-balanced diet leading up to the surgery. Occasionally you may need a bowel prep before the surgery.
Plan for your transport home after the surgery. You may need someone to drive you home.
You will be given fasting instructions by your doctor. In general, you need to fast about 6 hours before the surgery. If you are having surgery in the morning, you should not eat or drink after midnight the evening before your surgery. If you have surgery in the afternoon, you should fast after a light meal at 0700 in the morning.
On the day of the surgery
Please arrive early for your surgery.
On the morning of the surgery, take only the medications approved by your surgeon with tiny sips of water. In particular, check with your doctor if you can take your diabetes medications on the morning of the surgery.
Bring your ID and insurance cards.
Remember to bring your list of medications and all the relevant X-rays to the hospital.
After the surgery, be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding diet, medication and activity. In general, you should limit yourself to light activities. At the same time, do not lie in bed all day as that increases the risks of chest infection and blood clots in the legs.
Do not drive, smoke, drink alcoholic beverages or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours after the surgery.
After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying a light meal. You may still be nauseous from the effects of the anaesthesia.
Take your pain medication as directed. You may need to take it as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable (before the pain gets severe).
Check with your doctor when you can go back to work and whether there are any work restrictions in the early period. This instruction can vary according to the type of work that you do.
Contact your surgeon immediately if you develop a fever or any other signs of infection.
Contact your surgeon if you have any concerns or questions regarding your recovery.
You should attend your post-op appointment so your doctor can check for any complications.