Going under the knife can be a scary ordeal, but it helps if you know what you’re headed for. Preparing for surgery, sometimes called preoperative care, will help you understand the steps you’ll go through before, during, and after surgery. Today we’ll focus on what to expect before a surgical procedure.
There are inpatient and outpatient surgeries, and different things will happen before each. An outpatient procedure is generally a minor surgery that requires less recovery time and does not require anesthesia. An inpatient surgery usually requires anesthesia, recovery time, and sometimes an overnight stay for one or more nights.
Sometimes used medical equipment is purchased by offices that perform minor surgeries and outpatient procedures. Likewise, many hospitals and surgery centers use refurbished operating equipment. It’s important to understand that used medical equipment is held to the same standards and testing as new medical equipment. Refurbished medical veterinary equipment is held to a similar standard as well.
Preparing for an outpatient surgery takes less time than an inpatient one. You may not know exactly how the procedure will be performed until just before it happens, so make sure you understand what will occur before you sign a consent form. If your outpatient surgery requires a special diet or fasting, prescription medications, or that you bring someone with you to drive you home, your doctor’s office will notify you in advance.
Inpatient surgeries take more time to prepare for. You will meet with your doctor and possibly the anesthesiologist several days in advance of the procedure. At this time your doctor will prep you for what’s to come and the anesthesiologist will evaluate your needs to determine the type of anesthetic that will be used.
You will also be asked to fill out a preoperative form that asks about your medical history, past surgeries, medications, lifestyle, and other questions. You need to disclose all information to your doctor so they can make the best choices for you before, during, and after the procedure.
The week of the surgery: Expect to have a pre-operative appointment with your surgeon if you haven’t already. Your surgeon will inform you of any fasting, food, or drink restrictions you’ll have before the surgery. You will also need to finalize any arrangements you’re making for post-operative care, such as a ride home from the hospital or in-home care if you’ll need it.
The night before: You may be asked to fast after midnight, eat a light dinner, or follow a different medication schedule. It’s a good idea to pack an overnight bag in advance so you’re not running late for your scheduled appointment.
The day of the surgery: Arrive at your designated check-in time, which may be well in advance of your scheduled surgery. You will be asked to read and sign a consent form, which you should make sure you fully understand and sign well in advance of receiving any anesthesia. When you sign your consent form you agree that you understand the procedure that will take place and the risks involved.
Surgery isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a fun way to pass the time. But surgeries happen around the world, every second of the day. Remember to stay calm, and bring along something comforting to you like a picture or certain slippers. Bring a long a loved one for support as well!