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Preparing for Surgery Checklist

When your doctor has recommended surgery, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. However, by taking the right steps to prepare for your procedure, you can put your mind at ease and ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. To get ready for surgery, refer to the checklist below.


1. Compose a list of questions for your doctor.

Be sure this list includes questions about the purpose of the surgery, recovery time and alternatives to having surgery. Take a pen with you so you can record your surgeon's answers to each question.


2. Make a decision.

After speaking with your surgeon and getting the answers to your questions, review the information you have collected to determine whether the procedure is right for you.


3. Get a second opinion.

If you still aren't sure whether you should have surgery, consider scheduling an appointment with another doctor for a second opinion.


4. Contact your health insurance provider.

After you have decided to move forward with the procedure, contact your health insurance provider or review your plan documents to learn about the costs of the procedure and the coverage available.


5. Get an estimate from your surgeon and the surgical facility.


Next, you will need to contact your surgeon and the surgical facility to verify the fees for the procedure. Combining this information with what you have learned about your health insurance coverage should allow you to estimate your out-of-pocket expenses.


6. Schedule the procedure.

The next step in the process involves scheduling the surgery. You may schedule the procedure by contacting your surgeon or the facility's scheduling department, depending on the situation.


7. Prepare lists of medications.

Prepare an exhaustive list of all the medications, supplements and other substances you consume. Review this list with the surgeons and the anesthesiologist. Make note of any dosage adjustments recommended for the surgery.


8. Schedule required tests.

In most cases, you will need to schedule and complete certain preoperative lab tests before your procedure can take place.


9. Meet with the anesthesiologist.

Talking to the anesthesiologist before your procedure is recommended to ensure he or she has all the necessary information to keep you safe and comfortable.


10. Follow all preoperative instructions.

During the days and weeks leading up to your procedure, follow all instructions your surgeon has provided for best results.


11. Stop taking medications as recommended.

If your doctor or surgeon told you to stop taking certain medications or other substances, discontinue them as instructed.


12. Plan for your recovery.

Depending on the nature of your procedure, you may need special equipment or in-home care during your recovery. Arrange for these resources in advance.


13. Don't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.

Unless instructed otherwise, you should not eat or drink after midnight on the day before your surgery. Otherwise, your surgery may need to be rescheduled.


14. Contact your doctor if you get a cold, fever or rash.

If you develop any of these symptoms, you should call the doctor and ask whether your surgery needs to be rescheduled.


15. Sign all necessary forms.

Before your surgery, hospital staff will ask you to sign a variety of forms. Depending on your preferences, you may also request additional legal forms.


16. Quit smoking.

If you are a smoker, give up the habit before your surgery so you can recover faster.


17. Find a driver.

You won't be able to drive yourself home after your procedure, so make sure you have arranged for a friend or family member to act as your driver.


18. Plan for extra help.

On the day you return home from your procedure, plan to have a friend or family member stay with you in case you need anything.


At Prime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence.