Surgery

If you have an injury that requires surgery, there are probably many questions you have about the procedure. You will have the opportunity to ask Dr. Scholl your questions during the visit when surgery is scheduled. Here are some answers to common questions related to surgical procedures:

Scheduling

Your surgery will be scheduled at your clinic visit if the decision to treat your injury with surgery is made. If you are not sure of your schedule, we will go over all the pertinent information at the visit and you can call later to schedule the surgical date. Dr. Scholl has schedulers who can help select a date over the phone.

Dr. Scholl’s scheduler will contact your insurance company and get a pre-authorization completed if that is required. You do not have to do anything for this step. You will be contacted after this is done to confirm.

Surgical Time

You will be scheduled for a date, but the time of your surgery will not be determined until the day prior to your procedure. There are many variables that determine the order of surgical patients on the day of surgery, some patients have other illnesses that require they are earlier on the schedule or logistics with equipment in the operating room may play a factor. If you have a request to be earlier or later in the day, we will do our best to make that work, but we are not always able to accommodate those requests.

Dr. Scholl can give you an estimate on how long the procedure will take, but there are many factors which determine surgical length and this is only an estimate and your procedure may be done faster or require more time. Dr. Scholl likes to say “a surgery takes as much time as it takes to get the job done right.” You will need to be at the hospital well before your surgery and will be monitored through the phases of recovery before being released home, so even the shortest of procedures will take up half the day.

Medications

You may be taking anti-coagulation or other medications which need to be discontinued prior to surgery. For prescription medications, please check with the prescribing physician who is familiar with your individual dosage and response for timing of medications around surgery.

What to Bring

Please bring a list of any and all medications you are taking, as well as detailed notes from your cardiologist, but only if you require cardiac clearance for surgery.

  • Common timing for anti-coagulation discontinuation which your prescribing physician may recommend:
    • Coumadin – 5-7 days prior to surgery
    • Persantine – 2 days prior to surgery
    • Plavix – 7-10 days prior to surgery
    • Ticlid – 7-10 days prior to surgery
    • Pletal – 2 days prior to surgery
    • Aggrenox – 14 days prior to surgery
  • Over-the-counter medications / herbal supplements. Some common medications and herbals that should be discontinued:

Common Medications That Should Be Discontinued

“NPO”

Nil per os / Nothing by mouth. This is an abbreviated Latin phrase that means you should not eat or drink anything prior to surgery. Standard is NPO after midnight the evening prior to your procedure, follow this unless instructed otherwise. This includes water, gum, mints, etc.

Smoking

If you smoke, it is best to quit prior to surgery. Smoking can delay or prevent healing, potentially impairing the result of your surgery. If you are unable to quit, please try to cut down as much as possible.

Illness

If you have a fever, cold or rash please call, your surgery may need to be postponed.

Day of Surgery – BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME

  • Bring your insurance information.
  • Bring a list of any medications you are taking.
  • If you are under 18, you will need a parent or legal guardian present.
  • Bring notes from cardiologist, if you require cardiac clearance for surgery.
  • Shower or bathe.
  • Do not wear makeup.
  • Leave your valuables at home.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to get back into after the surgery.
  • For shoulder surgery, a button-down shirt is recommended.

For all surgeries, you will have to change into a gown. During most surgeries you keep your underwear on. Don’t wear your absolute favorites as they may get the sterilizing prep solution on them, blood on them or otherwise be stained and Dr. Scholl will not buy you a new pair.

Getting Home

You will be required to have a ride home after surgery. You are responsible for providing this. If you do not have this arranged, your surgery will be rescheduled.

Advanced Directives

If you have a living will, please bring a copy.

At Home

It is required that you have someone with you at home the first night after surgery. If you live alone, you should arrange this prior to the surgical date. It is recommended that you have help available for the first week after surgery, potentially more depending on the procedure.

Recovery

Things you can do to help speed your recovery are: Be active within any restrictions you are given. Get up and walk around frequently. Deep breathing. Work on filling your lungs fully. Moderate coughing is normal. Eat a balanced diet with emphasis on protein. This will help speed your recovery.

After The Procedure

First Post-Operative Clinic visit will be 6-10 days after your surgery unless different instructions are given. You will need to call to schedule this visit, or can make it at the pre-operative visit.

Physical Therapy

Your post-operative program may involve Physical Therapy. Dr. Scholl will give you a prescription for therapy and instructions on how soon to start if you need to begin Therapy prior to your first post-operative clinic visit. If you have not been given these specific instructions, a determination about Physical Therapy will be made at your first post-operative clinic visit.

Crutches

For patients with knee and lower-extremity surgery, you will receive one of the following crutch use instructions:

1. Crutch Use For Comfort Only

This means you do not have restrictions on your weight bearing. Crutches are provided because you may require some assistance with walking. On average, people use crutches for comfort only for 3-5 days after their surgery. Use the crutches longer if you need. With this instruction, the rule-of-thumb is “listen to your operated extremity” which means if it hurts, keep using the crutches and don’t “push through pain.”

2. Crutches, Non-Weight-Bearing

This means you are not to put any weight on your operated side. Foot off the ground.

3. Crutches, Touch-Down-Weight-Bearing

This means you may gently rest the weight of your leg on the ground while walking with your crutches, but you are not to transfer your body weight to that side for walking. You may use a normal right leg-left leg-right leg gait, but place both crutches on the ground with your injured side and the crutches should bear most of the weight.

Sling / Immobilizer

For patients with shoulder and upper extremity surgery, you will receive one of the following instructions for your sling or immobilizer:

1. Sling For Comfort Only.

This means you may come out of the sling as your comfort allows. No formal restrictions on sling use.

2. Sling For Comfort Only – Night Use.

This means you may come out of the sling as your comfort allows, but you are to use the sling at night when you go to bed to protect yourself from inadvertently pulling sheets or awkward positions while asleep.

3. Sling / Immobilizer At All Times.

This means that you should use the sling or immobilizer full-time. You may come out of the sling for hygiene and therapy only. You may be given home instructions for range-of-motion, in which case you may come out of the sling for your home therapy sessions as well. When out of the sling for hygiene, do not lift the arm. Only allow the arm to move by gravity as you lean over.

Medications

You will be given post-operative medication for pain. You may also receive other medications. The instructions will be on the prescription. If you have found specific medications to be more or less effective with post-operative pain previously, please let Dr. Scholl know this prior to the procedure so we may care for you in the best way possible.


RSS