Preparing Yourself and Your Home for Surgery

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It is important to notify your surgeon about any of the medications you are presently taking because some medications must be stopped before surgery. All surgeries carry certain risks and possible complications, which your surgeon will explain before surgery. Your surgeon may ask you to see your primary care physician to ensure that you do not have any health conditions that may complicate your surgery.

You may be asked to donate blood before your surgery. There are several options regarding blood donation and surgery, and all of these options should be explained to you.

Surgery also requires anesthesia. Your options will be based on your health history, the medications you presently take, and the results of your physical examination.

Before surgery, your surgeon may also recommend that you start a strengthening program. The prescribed exercises are designed to help add strength and flexibility. Strengthening your muscles before surgery can assist your post-operative recovery.

After surgery, your surgeon will give you a specific recovery plan which includes prescribed exercises to follow. Do not attempt exercises that are not prescribed by your surgeon.

Proactive Planning for Your Return Home

  • Launder all of your dirty clothes before your surgery. Have loose, comfortable clothing set aside for your recovery time.
  • Prepare single-serving meals before your surgery, so they can be heated quickly in a microwave, and there is less to clean up
  • Place frequently used cooking supplies and utensils where they can be reached without too much bending or stretching.
  • Place regularly used items such as remote controls, medications and reading materials in easy-to-reach locations.
  • Be aware of all floor hazards such as pets, small objects or uneven surfaces.
  • Be sure to remove loose rugs and other trip hazards such as electrical cords and magazine racks from walking paths to avoid accidents or falls. Keep extension cords and telephone cords out of pathways. Do not run wires under rugs; this is a fire hazard.
  • If necessary, widen furniture paths to accommodate a walker or cane.
  • Pick up throw rugs and tack down loose carpeting. Cover slippery surfaces with carpets that are firmly anchored to the floor or that have non-skid backs.
  • Provide good lighting throughout. Install nightlights in the bathrooms, bedrooms and hallways.
  • Un-tuck bedding to allow for easier access in and out of your bed. If your bedroom is on a second floor, it may be helpful to temporarily relocate your sleeping arrangements to the first floor.
  • Having some assistance after spine or joint surgery can also be very beneficial. Contact family members or friends ahead of time so are able to make the necessary arrangements to assist in your care and recovery.
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