The information below describes what to expect before and after surgery. Please read through all sections to help you prepare for surgery at Lewis & Clark Specialty Hospital.
Before SurgeryBelow are some things you can do to aid the success of your surgery:
Stop Smoking. Refraining from smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other form of tobacco 30 days before your scheduled procedure will help to prevent infections and will promote healing.
Medications. Ask your physician if you should continue taking any prescription or over the counter medications prior to surgery. If your physician instructs you to take your regular medications the morning of surgery, be careful not to swallow any more water than is necessary.
Personal Hygiene. Shower with an antibacterial soap the night before surgery and again the day of your surgery to reduce the bacteria on your skin and help prevent infections. You usually may brush your teeth and gargle the morning of surgery if you are careful not to swallow any of the liquid.
Eating and Drinking. Unless otherwise instructed by your physician, DO NOT eat or drink anything (including water, gum, or mints) after midnight the night before your surgery, or for eight hours prior to your scheduled surgery. An empty stomach is essential for safe anesthesiology and surgery.
Personal Belongings. You will be provided with a gown, slippers, robe and blankets to keep you comfortable before and after surgery. As a guideline, bring no more belongings with you than will fit in a shopping bag or half-locker. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that will not aggravate any bandages you may have after your procedure. Leave your jewelry, makeup and valuables at home.
Assistive Devices. Please bring mobility devices such as a walker or cane if you use one, and if you wear contacts, eyeglasses, or a hearing aid, bring a storage case for their protection.
Registration. We will expect you at the Hospital one hour before the time specified for your procedure. Bring personal identification and insurance cards with you as copies may be needed. If you are under 18 years old, your parent or legal guardian is needed at registration.
How long you spend in recovery will depend on your condition, the type of anesthesia used and the nature of your operation. We encourage the participation of a family member or friend in your recovery. Their commitment to you helps relieve the stress of surgery and ensures your safe return home.
Outpatient RecoveryFrom the recovery room, you will be moved to the recliner area to rest until you are ready to go home. Your family will be able to join you, and are invited to discuss the surgery with your physician.
You will be discharged when certain conditions are met:
- Vital signs are stable
- Able to walk with assistance
- Bleeding is controlled
- Awake and alert
- Nausea and vomiting are controlled
- Pain is controlled
If your surgery is planned on an inpatient basis, you will be admitted to a comfortable guest room. Again, family members are encouraged to participate in your care and are welcome to stay with you. Your room includes bedding arrangements for overnight family stays.
Discharge InstructionsWhether you have had regional or local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia, it can leave you feeling tired and lightheaded. Your judgment and motor abilities may be impaired for a period of twenty-four (24) hours, so be sure to arrange a safe ride home.
Below are some guidelines for your recovery immediately following discharge:
- Do not drive a vehicle or operate machinery.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages.
- Postpone signing legal documents or making important decisions.
- Limit your activities.
Begin your diet with liquids and light foods (jello, soups, toast, juice, etc.). Progress to your normal diet if you are not nauseated. Eat a well-balanced diet to properly heal after surgery. Resume special diets. A good fluid intake is important to prevent constipation.
Take medications as prescribed by your physician. When taking pain control medications, be careful when you walk, drive or climb stairs. Dizziness is not unusual. Drink plenty of water with your pain medications. Do not mix with alcohol.
Please DO NOT SMOKE, as this interferes with healing.
You will experience some pain, bruising, swelling and bleeding after surgery. A small amount of oozing from the incision site is normal. It is also common to experience increased pain the day after surgery.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN if you have excessive pain, bruising, discoloration, tingling, numbness, swelling or bleeding, if your wound becomes red, swollen, shows pus or red streaks, or feels more tender, or if you experience an elevated temperature (> 101 degrees F).
If you have questions of how to care for your wound or for any other instructions, call your physician or Lewis & Clark Specialty Hospital at (605) 665-5100.