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Preparing for Surgery: What to Bring and What to Expect

If you are going to have surgery, it can be very helpful if you know exactly what to expect, as well as what items you should — and shouldn’t — bring to the hospital. The following information will help prepare you so that you’ll be relaxed and ready when the time comes to go to the hospital.

What to Bring

Medications: Any medications you bring to the hospital must be in their original containers. If you choose to bring your own home medications, the nurse will keep your medications at the nurses’ station and administer them to you when needed. DO NOT take any medications out of your own supply while in the hospital. Note: Unless the medication is not in stock or otherwise requested by the patient, Lafayette General administers medications from the hospital supply.

Clothing: Bring a robe or housecoat, as well as tennis shoes or rubber-soled slippers or shoes. Your shoes are important because you will be up and walking in the hospital hallways at some point after your surgery. You may also want to bring loose-fitting t-shirts and shorts, rather than wearing a hospital gown or robe.

Personal Items: You may bring personal toiletry items. If not, the hospital will supply these.

Equipment: If you use a cane or walker, you may bring them – but be sure to label them with your name.

What Not to Bring

Do not bring any valuables or cash to the hospital. If you absolutely must bring any valuables, please take advantage of personal item storage provided by our Security department. The hospital is not responsible for any missing or stolen items.

Day Of: The Surgery Process

When You Arrive: After you check in and sign any required paperwork, you will be taken to an area where you will be prepared for surgery. You will be asked to change into a gown, cap and paper slippers – and an ID bracelet will be placed on your wrist. You will be transported to the operating room, where anesthesia will be administered.

Before Surgery: Your doctor or one of their staff members will let you know what time you need to arrive at the hospital on the day of your surgery. It’s important to

  • Be on time to ensure that everything stays on schedule.
  • Follow instructions for any medications you should or should not take in the days leading up to your surgery. You also may be given instructions about not eating or drinking anything prior to surgery.
  • On the day of your surgery, do not use any deodorant, skin lotion, powder, perfume, cologne or makeup/cosmetics.

During Surgery: While you are undergoing surgery, your family will be asked to stay in a waiting room. Someone will need to remain available for the surgeon to speak with after the procedure is completed.

After Surgery: You will awaken in the recovery area where you will be closely monitored for several hours. You will then be moved to a nursing floor for continued observation and care. Depending upon your physician’s preference, you will probably begin physical therapy on the day of surgery. The therapists will work with you twice a day to help you regain movement in your affected limb(s) and work toward resuming daily activities. The length of your hospital stay will depend upon the type of surgery that was performed, your physician’s mode of treatment and the rate at which you recover. In rare cases, you may be moved to a different hospital unit to focus on more intensive therapy depending on your insurance, medical history, surgery type, previous functional limitations and/or your prior level of functioning.

After Discharge: Once discharged from the hospital, your doctor may order continued outpatient physical therapy to ensure you are getting full movement and strength back. Your case manager will assist you in setting up these arrangements and in ordering any medical equipment you may need prior to your discharge from the hospital.

DISCLAIMER: Always consult your physician before acting on any medical advice or tips you may receive – including those involving medical procedures, exercises, lifestyle changes, supplements, vitamins, etc. Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital is not responsible for any adverse effects experienced by persons who act upon advice without prior approval from a qualified physician.