During Your Hospital Stay
Most patients are healthy other than the specific problem that they are being treated for.
It is important to understand that most orthopaedic surgery is wellness surgery, so aim to be as active and normal as possible while in hospital.
1. You to fast for at least 6 hours before surgery.
- A specific fasting time will be identified on your hospital paperwork
- Most patients will be able to take a light meal or fluids about 6 hours after surgery, although it is normal to lose your appetite for a number of days after major surgery.
2. It is normal to feel some discomfort or pain after surgery.
- If you are feeling any pain after your surgery please ask the nursing staff for pain killing medication
- If you are comfortable and pain free the more movement you may be able to undertake. This is important as in many cases it has been shown to aid/reduce surgery recovery time.
3. Do not be afraid of drips in your arm or neck, or tubes coming out from near your incision.
- The tubes and drips are normally in place for about 48 hours after your surgery
- The drip provides you with antibiotics, pain killers, fluid and blood if needed
- The drains are placed in the area of operation to help remove any excessive amounts of blood that may collect after surgery.
4. Usually the limb that is operated on will be swollen – Do not worry.
- The sooner you start using your limb normally, the quicker it will return to its normal size and shape
- You will be given appropriate information and precautions about the use of your limbs after surgery.
5. While you are in hospital you will be seen by your surgeon almost everyday following your surgery.
- The time at which you will be seen by your surgeon may vary depending on their schedule. You may also be seen by a physician each day who will check on your general health during your hospital stay.
6. There may be blood tests and x-rays performed routinely after your surgery.
7. Reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after surgery.
- What is DVT? – DVT is a blood clot. It happens when blood thickens and clumps together in a deep vein in the body. This blood clot may move to other areas throughout your body and cause further complications
- How can you reduce the risks of DVT occurring? – Walking and moving your feet and legs are an important. Many patients will also receive daily injections and special calf massaging appliances to help minimise the risk of DVT
- If you like to know more about DVT feel free to ask your surgeon or visit – Deep Vein Thrombosis.
8. A plan will be made soon after surgery as to whether you will return straight home or to a rehabilitation centre.
- Most patients are well enough to go home, with only a few requiring a short stay at a rehabilitation centre
- Most patients find that they sleep, move and eat much better in their own homes because of the familiarity of their surroundings
- Your families or carers are vital team members in a successful return to home programme.
Most patients return home by car.
1. Make sure that you have your:
- Medication supplied to you before you go home including painkillers or other medications that you usually take or have been given following your surgery.
2. Make sure you understand:
- Who will look after your wound, and
- Follow the post operative dressing instructions given to you at your discharge
- What your restrictions are and exercises you need to do after you leave hospital to maintain strength and mobility – Consult your physiotherapist or surgeon if you have any questions.
3. If you are worried about your wound, swelling of a limb or pain do not hesitate to let your surgeon know by ringing 96391300.
- If you cannot get through to your surgeon then contact the ward where you were before discharge and they will be able to advise you.
4. A postoperative appointment will be made for you before you are discharged – Ensure that you have:
- Asked the nurse looking after you before you leave, to confirm your appointment date and time
- If you are being discharged on a weekend and cannot confirm the time of your next appointment, please call 9639 1300 during office hours or refer to your Surgery Booking information.