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Day of Surgery

Arrival to Day Surgery

On the day of your surgery please arrive at the canopied entrance and proceed to Day Surgery.  You and your family will be registered and given an  introduction to your room.  A nurse will review some of the medical history questions you were asked previously to ensure your safety throughout your peri-operative journey. The nurse will also take vital signs, go over necessary paperwork, discuss the pain scale and pain medications, and answer any questions regarding your surgery and post-op care. 

After getting settled in, you will have an IV started. This is used to give you medications and fluids before the surgery since you were asked to not eat or drink in preparation. An anesthesiologist (a physician who manages your sedation) will meet with you as well to further review your medical history and discuss anesthesia options given during the procedure.  The OR nurse will also meet with you to discuss what will happen in the surgical suite. You will also see your surgeon before surgery to mark and initial the surgical site.

Your Surgery

Joint replacement surgery varies in length based on the needs of each patient. Most surgeries are about 1.5 to 3 hours in length. Share this information with anyone that may be planning on sitting in the waiting room during your surgery.

While being cared for in the operating room, your dedicated team will be working first hand with your physician to perform your surgery. The team takes great pride in ensuring that all specialized equipment is ready for your case, including instrumentation as well as the implants that will be used to build your new joint. They also take great pride in ensuring that the entire surgery is performed in the most sterile fashion. The dedicated orthopaedic team is specially trained in order to handle the complexity of your case. They are more than just the people behind the surgical masks. They are the care team dedicated to you. 

Post Anesthesia Care

After the surgery is completed, an anesthesiology provider and circulating nurse will take you to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).  Here is where you will recover following your surgery. You will be assessed by a nurse who will take continual vital signs, give pain medications as needed and set up your pain management regime. The surgical waiting area liaison and/or volunteers will keep your family and loved ones updated throughout the process.

Post Surgical Care

Vital Signs

The nursing staff will continue to monitor your vital signs including blood pressure, pulse and temperature after your surgery. They will need to continue monitoring you even at night when you may be asleep.  To monitor your oxygen saturation a nurse may place a probe on your finger or your ear. You will be instructed on deep breathing and use of a special device called and incentive spirometer. You may also receive supplemental oxygen to assist your breathing.

Dressings

Your dressings will be checked and monitored for drainage. Some patients have a tube coming from the dressing to a collection container, this is a surgical drain and the nurse will record how much is in the container. The drainage will be bloody. This is normal and expected as a part of the recovery process.

IV & Catheters

You will continue to have an IV and this will be used to give you fluids and medicine to prevent infection (antibiotics). It can also be used to give you pain medication.

Most patients have a tube in their bladder to drain their urine. Staff may call this a “foley catheter”. The nursing staff will measure the output from this tube/catheter. This tube/catheter is present because of the decreased sensation in your bladder caused by certain forms of pain control. It is removed as early as possible, usually on the day after surgery.