Preparing for Surgery & Procedure

Preparing for Surgery

Once you and Dr. DiFelice decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful recovery.

Working with Your Doctor

Before surgery, Dr. DiFelice will refer you to a primary care doctor to complete a pre-operative medical clearance. This is an examination to make sure you are healthy and do not have any medical conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed before any major surgery.

Preparations before Surgery

  • Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery
  • Discuss with your doctor about options for preparing for potential blood replacement, includes donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery if you are having surgery that requires a blood transfusion
  • If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications or warfarin or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding. This should be discussed with your primary care doctor.
  • If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery
  • Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up
  • Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry
  • Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won’t have to reach and bend as often
  • Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls
  • Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms

On the Day of your Surgery

If you are having day surgery, remember the following:

  • Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours
  • The combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours
  • If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand or elbow), keep that extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain
  • Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty in controlling the pain

Common Pre/Post-Operative Questions

How long do I need time off work after the surgery?

The post-operative recovery period varies based on the particular surgery. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions to follow for a successful recovery.

How long before I can resume driving?

The effects of anesthetic and surgery can affect judgment and reflexes during the first week following your surgery. Your surgeon will provide more specifics for your particular situation.

When can I resume exercise?

Your doctor will instruct you about post-treatment exercises – the type and the duration to be followed. You may be referred to a physical therapist to help with strengthening and range of motion exercises following surgery.

Will physical therapy be required after surgery?

Getting full range of motion, strength, and flexibility back after surgery usually takes time. That is where pre-operative exercise, education, and post-operative physical therapy programs come in – to ensure you are physically and emotionally prepared for surgery and to maximize your recovery after surgery.

What are the risks associated with surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks associated. Dr. DiFelice will discuss the risks associated with your specific procedure.

What are the non-surgical treatment options?

The non-surgical treatment options include rest, medications including analgesics and antibiotics, injections, and physical/occupational therapy.

When can I return to daily activities?

This varies depending on the type of procedure undergone, and can range from a few days to a few months. Return to all activities, sports and exercise can take up to four to six months. Your doctor will advise you depending on your particular health condition.

How do I contact after hours?

There will be a point of contact 24 hours a day for any concerns you may have. Please contact the office at