Your Surgical Experience
Orthopedic Surgery in Atlanta: What to Expect
Before Your Day of Surgery
Prior to your day of surgery, you will receive a call from one of our nurses to review your medical history and any medications you are taking, and to review pre-operative instructions. Please inform your physician and the Surgery Center nursing staff of any medications you may be taking. You will be given specific instructions concerning any medications by the surgery center nursing staff prior to your scheduled surgery date. If you take insulin you will be given specific instructions on how to take this medication prior to your surgery.
Federal law requires that we ask if you have executed an Advance Directive. This is a document written in advance which states your choices about medical treatment or names someone to make choices about medical treatment for you, if you become unable to make decisions. Please bring a copy of your Advance Directive with you to the surgery center.
All precautions are taken to ensure an uneventful surgical experience. Should an emergency situation occur during your treatment, however, we will initiate resuscitative or stabilizing measures before transferring you to a hospital for admission. After the initial emergency has passed, if necessary, your Advance Directive will be consulted and carried out if indicated.
It is not required that you have an Advance Directive. However, if you do not have one and would like to execute an Advance Directive, copies of the Georgia forms are available at the surgery center. Or, you may go online at http://www.aging.dhr.georgia.gov and select “Publications” to view the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care.
Upon Arrival For Your Surgery
Please arrive at the surgery center at your designated time so that you have enough time to speak with your anesthesia provider and surgeon prior to your procedure and to ask any questions you may have.
Pre-surgery Preparation Steps
Please review and follow these important steps. Failure to adhere to the pre-operative steps may result in your procedure having to be delayed or rescheduled.
- It is important that you not eat or drink or use tobacco as per your pre-operative instructions. This includes gum, water, mints, vitamins and tobacco products unless your anesthesiologist has given you special instructions stating otherwise. This is very important for your safety. Any medications you have been instructed to take that day should be taken with a small sip of water.
- Remember to have an escort, 18 years or older, accompany you on the day of surgery for the drive home with appropriate transportation; this excludes a taxi.
- Arrange for someone to be with you for the first 24 hours after your surgery.
- You are encouraged to leave all of your valuables at home. In fact, we will request that all jewelry and watches be removed prior to surgery.
What clothing should I wear?
The following recommendations will make your experience comfortable both before and after your surgery or procedure.
- We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing that you can change easily and will not bind the site of your surgery.
- Remove all jewelry and watches prior to surgery.
- Remove all make-up, nail polish, any metal hair accessories and contact lenses if you wear them.
- Shower the night before or morning of surgery with antibacterial soap to minimize the risk of infection.
- You may brush your teeth, but do not swallow the water.
- Discontinue all herbal supplements and vitamins at least two weeks prior to surgery if scheduling permits. Verify with your surgeon instructions regarding blood thinners, aspirin, NSAIDs, and similar products.
- Notify your surgeon if you have a cold, flu or fever during the week prior to your scheduled surgery.
- Please bring the sling, immobilizer, crutches, or other medical equipment that was given to you regarding your injury, with you the day of surgery to the surgery center.
Shortly after your arrival, you will be brought back into the pre-op area. Here the nurse will interview you and review your medical condition. Be sure to report to the nurse any recent illness or unusual symptoms you may be experiencing. After you are settled in pre-op and your IV has been started, if you would like, your companion may keep you company until you leave for the operating room.
In the pre-op area, you and the anesthesiologist will discuss the types of anesthesia, determine the best method for you, and have you sign the Anesthesia Consent. Again, it is important to share any information about your history with anesthesia so that any potential risks may be identified.
Then, just before you head back to the operating room, your surgeon will visit with you to answer questions, review the procedure with you, and mark the site of your procedure.
The anesthesiologist and your operating room (OR) nurse will accompany you through the automatic doors into our operating room suite. You will notice that all of the staff in this room wear masks, gowns, head covers and gloves. The equipment and instruments have been carefully prepared for your surgical procedure. The lights will be bright and the room will be chilly but our warmed blankets will help you relax.
You will be closely monitored by the nursing staff in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) as you begin to recover from your anesthesia. Your pain will be managed by the nursing staff per instructions from your surgeon and anesthesiologist.
The length of your stay in PACU will depend upon the type of anesthesia you received and the course of your recovery.
Prior to your discharge from the center, the nursing staff will ensure that you are comfortable, able to take fluids, and can sit up on the bedside.
When you are ready to leave, the PACU nurse will review instructions for postoperative care with you and your caregiver. You will be given a copy of these instructions as well as any prescriptions which may have been written for you by your surgeon.
You will be discharged via a wheelchair from the surgery center, accompanied by a member of our staff.
On the day following your surgery, you will receive a phone call from our nursing staff to check on your status since discharge.
We welcome your feedback on our performance. As part of your discharge paperwork on the day of your surgery or procedure, you will receive a patient satisfaction survey, including postage paid return envelope. We will appreciate your time to take the survey and mail the form back to us. The survey is administered by a third party, so your ratings will be anonymous. We appreciate your comments and suggestions so that we may continuously improve our services.