The instructions that follow are not intended to replace, supplement, clarify, or contradict your own surgeon's protocol.
Contact your own doctor for answers to all of your questions and always follow only your own doctor's instructions and advice.
INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SURGERY
Your surgeon will arrange for some or all of the following well in advance of your surgery date:
• Health history and questionnaire
• General physical examination and/or medical clearance from your regular doctors
• Any special laboratory testing and/or electrocardiogram
• Do not take aspirin, baby aspirin, coated aspirin, aspirin-containing medications (for example, some cold remedies), aspirin-like medications (including many prescription arthritis medications), or ibuprofen and related medications (Motrin, Advil, Alleve, etc.) during the three weeks before surgery. Even one tablet can interfere with blood clotting. Tylenol (or any brand of acetaminophen) may be used at any time
• If you use prescription "blood thinners" such as Coumadin or Plavix, be sure to discuss this with your surgeon well in advance of your surgery. You will need to follow special customized instructions.
• If you use a separate Vitamin E supplement, stop two weeks before surgery. The small amount of Vitamin E contained in a normal daily multivitamin is not of concern.
• Other common over-the-counter supplements are known to prolong bleeding to a much lesser extent than the above medications, including gingko biloba, ginseng, glucosamine/chrondroiton sulfate, and any number of herbs. For this reason, try to limit your ingestion of herbal teas or any other over-the-counter supplements not specifically recommended by your general physician.
• Unless you are advised otherwise, continue using all of your regular medications in their normal dosages. If you are diabetic, you may need to adjust your dose of diabetic medicine on the day of surgery. Be sure to talk to your surgeon about this and any other special medications.
• Try to stop (or at least decrease) smoking and alcohol intake in the two weeks prior to surgery.
• You should have the following supplies ready for use upon your arrival home:
• ice cubes (one or two trays)
• several clean washcloths
• a small clean bowl to hold water
• several gallon-size Ziploc bags (to use for ice packs), or
• a package of frozen baby peas
• You should purchase the following supplies before surgery:
• a small supply of gauze pads
• a small bottle of Tylenol (or generic acetaminophen)
• bottle of artificial tears (optional)
• Arrange for someone to drive you to your surgery and pick you up afterwards. You may not drive yourself home.
• If at all possible, someone should stay with you at home on the afternoon and evening of surgery. If you must be home alone, be sure to have several meals prepared and waiting in the refrigerator and the phone number of someone you can call for assistance.
• If your surgery is at the hospital or a surgicenter, do not take in any food, fluids, or medicines after midnight unless instructed otherwise. If your surgery will be done at an office operating room, ask about such policies.