This post is part of a 31 day writing challenge, and the theme for SimpleStepsForLivingLife’s daily series is
Prepping for Surgery.
At this point in your journey, you most likely know what type of surgery you will be having, where you will be having your surgery, and when your surgery will be scheduled or the during the preOp appointment you and your doctor’s office it will be schedules. Depending on the type of procedure you will have will determine what questions are best to ask for your procedure.
Please note: all articles are written on SimpleStepsForLivingLife are ONLY my opinions and should NEVER replace that of a medical professional. This series of posts are about what I have learned from having surgery and being about to have surgery again. I am not a medical professional at all, please consult with your doctor or a medical professional when it comes to anything to do with your health.
Most likely, during the preOp appointment you will given a list of things you need to do or not do leading up to the surgery and after the surgery. You might also get a list of prescriptions you will either be given when leaving the hospital or your helper will need to pick up after the surgery. There can be several details regarding nutrition, medication, rest, healing, and more to be determined for surgery. The answers to these questions are not only helpful for you to have but anyone that might help you after the operation.
Here are a list of some question you might want to ask the doctor and staff during the preOp appointment:
- What is the address of the hospital? Is there a certain parking garage to use? Where is the check in located in the hospital?
- What time do I need to check into the hospital?
- How far before the surgery do I need to stop eating and drinking?
- Is there a specific soap or lotion or sanitizer to bath with prior to surgery?
- What medications, over-the-counter or prescription, should stop being taken before surgery and how far in advance of the procedure?
- If a cleansing of the digestive system must happen before the procedure: a. What are the steps and medication I need to take? b. What should I expect? c. Is this something I should take off work for? d. What amount of time will be dedicated for this? e. What symptoms or concerns during the cleans occur that I should call the doctor about?
- What type of clothing and shoes should I wear to the hospital? What type of clothing, shoes, and toiletries should I pack for after the surgery? TIP: Don’t wear any jewelry or nail polish when you go to the hospital.
- What documentation and identification will I need to bring?
- Is pre-registration available for the hospital? How can I sign up for this?
- Can a payment plan for each entity(doctor, hospital, labs, imaging, etc) be set up before the surgery? TIP: Speak with your insurance provider as soon as possible in this journey to go ahead and get estimates and a way to determine your portion of the payment as far in advance a possible.
- Can my helper stay over night in the room with me?
- How long is the surgery expected to take?
- What is the estimated time in the recovery room?
- How long will the hospital stay be, if any?
- What needs to happen physically to be cleared to go home (urination, walking on own, etc)?
- How long will help be needed at my home? TIP: If you do not have a helper, there are many home health care agencies you need to start interviewing as soon a possible. Ask your doctor for a recommended agency.
- What physical restrictions are there and for how long after surgery? Such as, when am I allowed to pick up anything that weighs more than a gallon of milk?
- When am I allowed to drive?
- What steps are needed for wound care?
- When should any staples or stitches be removed?
- Will a cast, splint, compression garment or other item be needed after surgery and for how long?
- What over-the-counter medications are best for wound and scar care?
- How many follow up appointments will I potentially need to schedule and at what time intervals?
- Will I need physical therapy after the procedure? For what estimated time? Who do I contact to set this up?
- At what estimated point will I be released back to light duty at work? At what estimated point will I be released back to work full duty?
- When should I start exercising? What type of exercise should I do?
- When am I allowed to bath or shower and what soaps should or should I not use?
- What foods should or should I not eat after surgery? How long after surgery can I eat?
- What signs or symptoms should alert me to call the doctor?
Surgery can be an anxious time in any person’s life. Asking questions ahead of time can put your mind at ease to help you prepare for what is to come. These questions will also be helpful for the person caring for you after the operation.
For more helpful Prepping for Surgery series articles, click here. For a FREE printable of these questions please leave your email address below.