Once you and your doctor decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and how to actively participate in the 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 perform a complete physical examination to make sure you do not have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes.
Preparing for a Procedure
If you are having day surgery, remember the following:
Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.
Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip back home.
The combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.
If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand, or elbow), keep that extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty in controlling the pain.