Preparing for Surgery
You should continue taking your usual prescribed medications prior to surgery. Any exceptions to that such as a routine dose of aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, and Feldene, and Vitamin E should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery unless you specifically discussed continuing them with your surgeon. If you are taking oral contraceptives and need elective orthopaedic surgery you may be at risk of developing blood clots. It is recommended to stop your oral contraceptives 3 to 4 weeks before surgery and not take oral contraceptives for 2 weeks after surgery or during bed rest. During this period of time, you will need to use another form of birth control (non-hormonal).
If you are on Coumadin therapy: check with your prescribing doctor regarding when you should discontinue and restart using the Coumadin. Blood testing may be required by this physician before and after the date of surgery.
If you are a diabetic: discuss with the nursing staff at the hospital or outpatient surgery facility the anesthesiologist’s recommendation regarding using your insulin or taking your tablets the morning of surgery. It is usually recommended to bring a snack with you to eat post-operatively after your insulin or diabetes medication is administered.
We recommend that our patients begin taking Vitamin C (1000 mg per day) two weeks before surgery and continue post-operatively as this may help the healing process.
Three days before surgery
Patients should begin to take a bath or shower with Hibiclens soap, which can be purchased at any drug store/pharmacy. Please follow the attached protocol for Hibiclens and Pre-surgical planning-infection prevention sheet. If you can not find it is okay to buy Dial Liquid Gold (any antibacterial soap). Follow attached protocol. DO NOT shave the surgical site for two to three days prior to surgery as this might increase the possibility of an infection.
Two days before surgery
Please start taking Colace 100mg twice daily by mouth to prevent post-op constipation. You will continue this after surgery until you are off narcotic pain medications.
One day before surgery
DO NOT drink any beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages during the 24 hours before surgery. Alcohol increases the depth of anesthesia and the effect of the medications administered.
***Please remove any nail polish/gel/shellac from feet and hands***
DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery is scheduled unless you have been specifically instructed otherwise by the nursing staff in the facility where you are scheduled. This includes gum, candy, ice, etc. They will discuss with you which medications you may take with a sip of water, if any, the morning of your surgery. You must understand that it is very dangerous to be sedated or put under general anesthesia with food or liquid in your stomach.
The day of surgery
Take your final bath or shower (with Hibiclens). Dress in loose, comfortable clothes that will be easy to change out of and into after surgery. Make sure that any potential bulky bandages or cast will fit through the openings.
DO NOT wear contact lenses, but bring reading glasses if you need them to complete any paperwork before surgery. Remove any hairpins, clips, or combs.
DO NOT wear any jewelry or bring anything valuable with you to the facility.
Air travel after surgery
It is recommended you do not travel by air until day 4 post-op, due to risk of blood clots. If your circumstances necessitate you to travel by air earlier than day 4 post-op, please discuss this with your surgical team several weeks prior to surgery.
Operating a motor vehicle after surgery
You will be unable to drive while on narcotic pain medications. Specific restrictions for each surgical procedure differ, please contact our office with any questions you may have. Clearance typically does not occur until a patient is full weight bearing through the right foot if that is the side of the operation.
Please Read Common Reasons Your Surgery May Need To Be Rescheduled
If you experience any signs or symptoms of an infection or have a known infection, please call the surgeon’s office immediately.
If you develop a cold, persistent cough, fever, flu symptoms, or if there is a significant change in the condition for which your surgery is scheduled, please call the surgeon’s office immediately.
Prior to your surgery if you develop a rash, burn, ant bite, or a break in the skin regardless of the size, near the area of your surgery, please notify our office since this may mean that we need to see you or postpone the surgery until the skin has healed.
If you need to cancel your planned surgery and the office has already closed for the day, leave a message with the answering service, and it will be relayed to the surgeon. If necessary, your call will be returned.
You will receive prescriptions for use post-operatively after surgery, prior to discharge. These can be filled at a pharmacy convenient to your home and within your health insurance plan requirements. For refills, call the pharmacy, and they will contact your surgeon for approval.
DO NOT drive or drink alcohol while taking post-operative prescriptions. If you have any questions, please feel free to call your surgeon’s office (970) 476-1100.
VVMC surgery is located within the Vail Valley Medical Center at 181 W. Meadow Drive, Vail Colorado 81657. After checking in on the 1st floor, please proceed on the elevators to the 3rd floor and look for Pre-op area in front of the elevators.
On the day of surgery, please check in at the admissions desk located on the 1st floor of the hospital. Approximately 5 days prior to your surgery, please call the pre-op planning nurses to schedule a phone interview at 970-479-5144.
What to bring with you
- Athletic shoes
- Loose, comfortable clothes (they may become stained, so make sure they are not your favorites)
- Any icing device (cold pack, cryo-cuff, etc.) that you have used and liked
- Summaries of any physical therapy or training programs that you have followed for this condition
- Insurance card/Workman’s Comp information
- Check with your individual doctor about specific instructions regarding your surgery preparation
- Crutches (if you already have some)
- Knee brace that you have been using
- Athletic/comfortable shorts, tennis shoes, warm up suit or sweat pants in the winter
- Loose fitting button-up shirts