Preparing for Surgery

While joint replacement surgery has become an effective method to relieve pain and allow individuals to live more active lives, it is still a comprehensive undertaking that requires weeks of preparation. Below are basic guidelines to follow in the days and weeks leading up to your surgery.

Understanding your procedure

Dr. Goyal has found that a motivated patient contributes greatly to the outcome of surgery. You are encouraged to ask every question you can think of. Find out exactly what to expect from your surgery, including the process of being admitted, the anesthesia process and the hip or knee implant being used. Additionally, when you come to Dr. Goyal for among the best knee or hip replacement Washington DC has available, it is good to grasp what the recovery is like and what will be expected from you during that time.

The more you understand, the better you will be able to face the different aspects of hip or knee replacement. Dr. Goyal is on call for his patients and is happy to handle any question or concern that arises. It all goes toward ensuring the best possible outcome.

Physical preparations for surgery

Because surgery can be a physically strenuous process, it is important to prepare physically during the weeks prior to surgery. The following guidelines will help your body gain the strength necessary to undergo your joint replacement.

  • Cut down or quit smoking, if you are a smoker. It has been found that smoking contributes to delayed healing.
  • Don’t drink any alcohol for 48 hours prior to surgery.
  • Any controlled substances should be discussed with Dr. Goyal. These may affect your surgery.
  • Adhere to a healthy diet regimen. If you are overweight or obese, Dr. Goyal may suggest a weight loss program.
  • Ask Dr. Goyal about pre-surgery exercises. Because your hip or knee may be weakened after surgery, it is important that you remain mobile. This may mean strengthening your upper body to help you deal with crutches or other walking aid. It is also wise to ask about post-surgery exercises so you can start practicing.

Plan for your return home

Because your mobility will be somewhat compromised following joint replacement surgery, it is suggested that you take precautions to prepare for home life.

  • If you currently live alone, you may want to look at specialized rehabilitation facilities. These are full of trained professionals to help patients recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery. This could go a long way towards making your recovery period comfortable and effective.
  • Arrange for a friend or family member to give you a ride home following your surgery. If possible, get someone to stay with you for several days after your surgery while you adjust.
  • If you cook at home, prepare your meals ahead of time. This may include cooking a week’s worth of food prior to your surgery. It can also include stocking up on ready-to-eat foods that you enjoy.
  • Prior to surgery, arrange your house to accommodate reduced mobility. Put items you regularly use at arm height so you do not have to stretch or bend. Remove anything that could cause you to slip, such as throw rugs. Rearrange furniture so it is easier to navigate through your house with crutches.
  • Bathroom modification can make a large difference. A raised toilet, shower chair or gripping bar will assist in your mobility following hip or knee replacement.
  • Purchase items that will give you greater reaching power following surgery. These may include a long-handled shoehorn, a grabbing tool, a long-handled sponge and a soft shoulder bag for regularly used items.
  • Create a recovery hub where most of your time will be spent. A comfortable chair, phone, television, reading materials and medications should all be within arm’s length.
  • If it is expected that your mobility will be greatly compromised during recovery, it is recommended that you get a parking permit for a disabled person. Dr. Goyal’s office can assist you with this.

Final preparations

During the 24 hours leading up to your surgery, there are several things to take care of. These include:

  • Take a bath or shower the night before surgery.
  • Do not shave the surgical site. If this is necessary, it will be taken care of in the operating room.
  • Do not wear any nail polish, lipstick or makeup.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. This helps prevent nausea that can be created from anesthesia.
  • If you are expected to have a brief stay in the hospital, bring a bag with the following items:
    • Comfortable bedroom slippers with non-skid soles.
    • A robe or gown.
    • A comfortable shirt to wear under the hospital gown.
    • Reading material or laptop for entertainment.
    • Copies of insurance cards and medical history.
    • Medications you regularly take.
    • Items for personal care, such as toothbrush, eyeglasses, hairbrush, etc.
    • A comfortable change of clothes and comfortable shoes to wear home.
    • Please make sure to ask a friend or family member for help. This may simply include checking in on you daily, but it is important to have support during recovery.

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