Pre-Surgery Checklist For Knee Replacement
Before having knee replacement surgery, you will confer with one of the knee surgeons in your doctor’s office. Your doctor will give you pre-operative instructions which you should follow for the best possible outcome.
Store Your Blood
Since you know when your surgery is scheduled, it is possible for you to bank your blood so that if you need a blood transfusion during the surgery, you can have your own blood administered to you.
There are fewer risks associated with receiving your own blood. Some people can have negative medical reactions to blood transfusions so storing your blood in a blood bank in the weeks prior to your surgery is a precaution you should take.
There are always risks associated with general anesthesia and surgery. You should not take blood thinners a week before surgery.
Your knee surgeon will tell you what prescription medication is alright to take before surgery, but usually it is none, except sometimes blood pressure medication.
Even then, it should be taken with just a sip of water. It is important for your stomach to be empty.
Do Not Eat
For 8 to 12 hours prior to surgery you will need to abstain from eating or drinking anything. General anesthesia could make you sick. You will be intubated which means a tube will be placed down your throat to breathe for you. If you throw up while you are unconscious on your back with a tube down your throat, you could die. At the very least it will disrupt the surgery and keep your knee surgeon from giving you the best possible outcome.
All major dental problems should be taken care of prior to surgery. An infection in a tooth or your gums could move to the surgery site and you could lose your leg or your life.
Even if you do not think there is anything wrong with your teeth, you should schedule an appointment in the months before surgery to take care of any problems that may exist without your knowledge.
You will need to have a raised toilet seat installed on your commode, a chair placed in the shower, support handles in the shower and possibly next to the toilet.
Have a brush or sponge with a long handle and/or a shower hose. You will need a reaching device to pick up things without having to bend over and to help put on your socks without having to lift your leg very far.
Make sure you have someone at home that can care for you in the days following your surgery, who can pick you up and drive you home when you are discharged from the hospital.
Pack a suitcase with the things you will need while in the hospital including loose clothing, a robe that does not extend below the knees and slip on shoes.
Bring a list of all the medications you take regularly for the post-care staff. Also, be sure to bring walking devices such as crutches or a walker that you will be using after the surgery.
Knee surgeons are highly skilled specialists, but they are not miracle workers. It is important that you follow all instructions and be prepared so your surgery and recovery will be a success.
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