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You and Your Physician Have Decided You Need Surgery
Hospital Choices
Surgery Date
Pre-surgical Orders
Surgical Precertification
Other Durable Medical Equipment Needed at Home
The Morning of Surgery
Discharge Instructions
On the Way Home
Once Home

Surgical Information


You and Your Physician Have Decided You Need Surgery
You will meet with the surgery scheduler at the time of your appointment. If this is not possible, then you will be given the surgery scheduler's contact information and you can call back to choose a surgery date. It is best, however, if you talk to the scheduler at the time of your appointment.

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Hospital Choices
Our physicians have block-operating times at Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy Main, Presbyterian Orthopedic Hospital and Charlotte Surgical Center. Our block-operating time allows for certain days and times at certain hospitals, depending on the week of the month. We will attempt to work you in to the best possible date but please understand that dates are also influenced by the physicians' availability.

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Surgery Date
You will be given the surgery date and location. You will not be given a time for the procedure. Instead, this is determined by a variety of factors such as number of cases scheduled, type of cases scheduled and instrumentation availability. The hospital, therefore, will notify you 1-2 days in advance to inform you of your arrival time. This can be as early as 5:00 AM or mid-afternoon. You arrival time will be approximately 2 hours prior to your surgery time. If you have not heard from the hospital 2 days before the surgery, please call the office and speak with the surgery scheduler. It is important to not change this date once it is set.

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Pre-surgical Orders
All patients are NPO (nothing to eat or drink) past midnight the night before surgery. For example if you are to have surgery on Friday at 7 AM, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on Thursday night. This includes water. The only time this is changed is if you are having surgery late in the afternoon and the anesthesiologist directs you to be NPO after a specific time. Patients on blood thinners such as baby aspirin, or anti-inflammatories, need to stop taking these 7-10 days prior to your surgery. If you are on Coumadin, Plavix or other blood thinners due to other medical conditions, you will need to contact your prescribing physician to coordinate coming off of these medications 5-10 days prior to your surgery. These medications can affect your operative procedure, recovery and subsequent surgical outcome.

The anesthesiologist will often instruct patients to take their heart medicine with a small sip of water the morning of surgery. Ask the hospital if this is allowed when they call or when arriving at the hospital the day of surgery.

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Surgical Precertification
Once a date has been chosen, our office will fax the surgical order to the hospital, order any special equipment and then pre-authorize your surgery with your insurance company. If you have any questions about your surgical out of pocket expenses it is the patients responsibility to contact their insurance company by calling member services on the back of your card.

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Other Durable Medical Equipment Needed at Home
Some of our surgical procedures utilize the services of outside vendors and durable medical equipment. These companies will contact you prior to you surgery to arrange for your surgery specific equipment. These different items assist you in your post-operative recovery period. Not all are covered by all insurance plans, so please discuss your plan directly with this with the vendor, not our office. These include but are not limited to electrical stimulators, cold therapy, CPM machines, home health care and home health products for ambulation. Not all surgeries require equipment, however, if a vendor does contact you it is because our physicians feel the equipment is beneficial for your recovery. We receive no financial incentives for this medical equipment.

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The Morning of Surgery
The morning of surgery, you will need someone to drive you to the hospital and take you home. You will also need your insurance card and personal identification. If you wear contacts please remove them and use eyeglasses. If we are operating on your lower extremity and you have crutches, please bring them and leave them in your car. If you are going to be an inpatient (stay at the hospital) please bring bedclothes, robe, shoes and toiletries.

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Discharge Instructions
Upon discharge from the hospital you will be given a RX for pain medicine and anti-nausea medicine. If physical therapy (PT) is needed prior to seeing the physician back in the office you will be given a PT prescription. Do not misplace this prescription. It is required for your physical therapist. You will need to take that to your first physical therapy appointment. If you do not have a PT prescription it is because the doctor wants to see you in the office on your first post-operative visit prior to starting your PT. Physical therapy prescriptions cannot be written prior to surgery, because often the indications change depending on what is necessary during surgery. If you have a PT order, it is the patient's responsibility to make your physical therapy appointment. If you need recommendations for a physical therapist feel free to ask the doctor or PA at the time of surgery. We will gladly recommend a qualified physical therapist. However it is the patient's responsibility to insure they are in network with your specific insurance company.

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On the Way Home
On your way home, make sure you stop and pick up your pain medicine and anti-nausea medicine. If you are using a cold therapy machine, pick up several bags of ice. If you are not using a cold therapy machine we recommend using frozen peas as ice bags as they are moldable to your specific operative site.

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Once Home
Carefully navigate the path to the door, you sometimes are still drowsy, are using crutches for the first time and feel awkward. Make sure someone is there to carefully help you. Begin using any equipment ordered such as CPM or ice machine. Call and make your 1st post-operative visit appt. This should be 7-14 days after your operation. Call to make your PT appointment if one is required. Ice and elevate your operative extremity. Follow your discharge instructions. Call the office if you have any immediate concerns.

Begin taking your pain medicine as prescribed to get ahead of the pain cycle. Many of our surgical procedures also utilize block anesthesia that will wear off about 2 AM. You need to have pain medicine in your system prior to this block wearing off. Some patients have what is known as rebound pain, which can be worse pain that it would have been if you are not taking your oral pain medicine. Again, please stay ahead of the pain curve the first few days. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our triage nurse. If you have an allergic reaction to your prescription, please call the office and follow the triage nurse prompt. Please review the prescription refill instructions on this website under Prescription Refills.

For patients that require medical clearance prior to surgery or are going to be inpatient:

We ask that you obtain a letter of medical clearance from your medical doctor. It can be on a RX pad or a written note. If you are under routine medical care of a physician this normally is not a problem. If needed, we can help you schedule an appointment with a different physician to help facilitate this process. Please keep a copy of this letter for yourself. You will need to give it to the anesthesiologist at your pre-op anesthesia conference.

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