Preparing For Surgery
Nothing else has worked, so doctors tell me that surgery is the only way to make the pain go away and let me enjoy a normal life again. So, what’s next? Here are some important things to consider when you are preparing for orthopedic surgery.
The Center for Perioperative Medicine or pre-admission testing ensures that you have a positive experience from beginning to end.
1) You’ll go through pre-admission testing which means
- Medical evaluation
- Lab work
- Education about what to expect before and after surgery
- Review of your medications including instructions on what to take or what to stop before surgery
Gaining physician approval for surgery
You’ll get approval for surgery from your cardiologist and primary doctor.
You will have a pre-op class for about two hours which is highly recommended by your surgeon whether you’re having knee or hip replacement. In the class, we explain what you should expect before, during and after surgery including discharge planning.
Benefits of patient education include:
- Getting information you may not have thought to ask about
- Knowing what to expect and how to prepare in advance
- Being able to ask questions that may not have occurred to you before
- Being in class with others who will be having similar surgery, so you realize you’re not alone
Patient education is an important part of your overall experience. It often helps to reduce anxiety and even pain and research studies show that education leads to a better outcome.
We also have an interactive patient newsletter service that provides weekly information prior and after surgery, and offer a free joint class, every other week. Registration is handled by the Access center: 1-888-569-1000.
|ARE YOU HAVING JOINT SURGERY?
Free Patient Education E-mail series
Get customized resources tailored to your specific stage of preparation or recovery delivered right to your inbox!
Preparing your body for surgery
- A month or so before surgery, you’ll begin a physician-supervised exercise program so you’ll be in the best possible shape. Increasing upper body strength is important to help you use a walker, crutches or cane in early post-surgery days.
- If you’re overweight, losing weight is important in ensuring your safety through your surgical experience and reduces stress on your back and joints.
Weight Loss Options available at AtlantiCare
AtlantiCare LifeCenter Fitness is southeastern New Jersey’s premier fitness center. Our two locations — in Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City — offer a great combination of equipment options and amenities.
Learn more »
|SURGICAL WEIGHT LOSS
AtlantiCare’s Center for Surgical Weight Loss & Wellness is the most comprehensive program of its kind in southeastern New Jersey – with services geared toward helping patients every step of the way.
Learn more »
- Get any dental work done as bacteria can enter the body through your gums. If necessary, have any extractions or periodontal work done before your surgery.
- Whatever you do, stop smoking if you’re a smoker
Smoking Cessation Classes at AtlantiCare
Your provider may advise you to stop taking some of your current medications which could interfere with surgery.
- Always make sure your providers are aware of all medications you take, including over-the-counter, vitamin supplements, minerals, etc.
- Keep a list of everything you take on your computer so it can be printed out for each doctor
- At your pre-operative medical evaluation, in the Center for Perioperative Medicine, You will be provided a list of medications you should take and those you should hold prior to your procedure.
Prepare your home
Since mobility will be a challenge, make sure your home is prepared for you when you get out of the hospital.
- Things you use daily should be within reach
- Make your walkways clear and free of clutter.
- Get rid of loose carpets or exposed electrical cords that could cause a fall
- An ottoman or footstool is a comfort for helping you keep your operated limb straight out in front of you when sitting
- Pockets, pockets, pockets. Wear garments that have them for necessities – or carry a shoulder bag
Call your insurance company to verify what is covered and if you have any co-pays.
Packing for the hospital
What to bring with you
- Basic toiletries (toothbrush, hair brush)
- Eyeglasses (no contact lenses)
- Dentures if you have any
- Hearing aid
- Your list of medications
- Phone numbers that you call regularly
- A book or magazine
What not to bring with you
- Medications unless directed by your providers
- Valuable jewelry
- A large amount of cash
- Credit cards
For further questions or instructions, visit the Patient & Visitor section of the AtlantiCare web site, or ask your physician or nurse.