What to Expect on Surgery Day
Post Operative Care
Life After Hip Replacement
Pre-op and Surgery Day
When you and your orthopedic surgeon decide that total hip replacement is right for you, here is an idea of what you may expect during the days and weeks leading up to surgery, as well as the day of surgery.
You and your orthopedic surgeon may participate in an initial surgical consultation. This appointment may include preoperative X-rays, a complete medical and surgical history, physical examination, and comprehensive list of medications and allergies. During this visit, your orthopedic surgeon will likely review the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
Your orthopedic surgeon may require that you have a complete physical examination by your internist or family physician as you will need to be cleared medically by your physician before undergoing this extensive procedure. And you may be instructed by your internist on whether you need to donate blood prior to surgery in the event that you will need a blood transfusion post-operatively.
Also, your orthopedic surgeon may ask you to consult a physical therapist to discuss the recovery period, rehabilitation program, and important precautions, as well as instruct you in exercises that you can begin prior to surgery that will make the recovery much easier.
Your physician and hospital may also require that you visit the admissions department prior to surgery to pre-certify the procedure with your insurance company.
Finally, maintaining good physical health prior to surgery will also improve the recovery period and overall post-operative outcome.
Preparation for the Hospital
You may want to bring the following items to the hospital for your hip replacement surgery:
Clothing: underwear, socks, t-shirts, exercise shorts for rehabilitation
Footwear: walking or tennis shoes for rehab; slippers for hospital room
Walking aids: walker, cane, wheelchair, or crutches if used prior to surgery
You should follow your regular diet on the day before your surgery. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding use of medication in the days leading to surgery. Finally, try to get a long, restful night’s sleep.
Day of Surgery
On the morning of the surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital and taken to the appropriate pre-surgical area. The nurse will spend a few minutes preparing you for surgery by taking your vital signs, starting IV fluids, and administering medications as needed. You will be asked to empty your bladder just prior to surgery, and to remove all jewelry, contacts, dentures, etc. You will change into a hospital gown, be placed on a stretcher, and transported to the operating room. The anesthesiologist will meet you and review the medications and procedures used during the surgical case.
Surgery and Recovery
After the surgical case is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room for a period of close observation. Your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature will be closely monitored by the recovery room staff. Special attention will be given to your circulation and sensation in the feet and legs. When you awaken and your condition is stabilized, you will be transferred to your room.
Although the protocols may vary from hospital to hospital, you may awaken to some or all of the following:
Some Content Courtesy of Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics