Facing an upcoming surgery? Your surgeon will indeed prepare you for surgery, but there are other considerations for you to anticipate on your own.
Your surgeon will tell you what tests you need to take before surgery, what medications to stop taking, and to stop smoking if you are a smoker. You may also be given instructions for preparing your home (such as rearranging furniture for a wheelchair, or crutches, or installing handrails in the bathroom) and for arranging a ride home from the hospital.
Surgeons are concerned with the details that will enable a safe and successful surgery. Other preparations, however, are simply not on their radar, such as:
- Transportation: In addition to a ride home from the hospital, you might need rides to and from follow-up appointments.
- Day-to-day assistance: In the days following your surgery, you might need some assistance with everyday tasks, such as bathing and dressing, meal preparation, laundry, and cleaning.
- Help with children: You might need someone to prepare your child’s lunch, meet the school bus, or drive him/her to and from school.
- Help with pets: You might not be able to bend to fill water dishes or take your dog for a walk; ergo, the need to enlist assistance.
On the day of your surgery, leave valuables (wallet, phone, smart watches, and jewelry) at home. Double check in advance whether you will need to remove your wedding ring. My sister was shocked with this recent change at her hospital as she had never removed her wedding ring since her husband put it on her finger 28 years prior! When she balked at removing it, she was told that her surgery would be cancelled…… Forewarned is forearmed. Furthermore, bring a photo ID and your insurance card if so instructed. If you wear eyeglasses, take an empty case in which to put them while you are in surgery—and put your name and phone number on or inside the case.