Surgery Preparation/Recovery

Though Orthopedics New England specialists believe in offering a conservative approach to treatment, exploring noninvasive avenues first, sometimes surgery is necessary to offer you the best outcome. Should your physician recommend surgery, you should understand that you are in a world-renowned orthopedic surgical facility, whose surgical specialists are among the most highly trained and qualified in the region.


Guidelines for Surgery Preparation & Recovery at Orthopedics New England

Presurgery Preparation

A surgery center nurse will contact you the day before your surgery to confirm the time of your surgery. At that time, the nurse will also review any special instructions you will need to follow in preparation for your surgery.

Day of Surgery

Your arrival time will be one or two hours prior to your actual surgery time. This is because of necessary tasks, including registration, preparation, anesthesia, etc. Please note that surgery may be delayed or even cancelled due to emergencies.

Food & Drink

We recommend eating a light dinner and drinking fluids the evening before your surgery. Please do not consume milk products or food after midnight of the evening prior to your surgery date—this includes gum and mints. If a clear liquid diet is specified, some suggestions include black coffee, tea, apple juice, or pulp-free orange juice. Please note that milk is not included in a clear liquid diet. Additionally, we recommend that you do not smoke or consume alcohol for at least 48 hours prior to surgery.

Within six hours of your arrival time, you must not eat, drink, or smoke, including ice, gum, or mints. This is extremely important. If you have had anything to eat or drink, including water, without having been instructed to do so, your surgery may be delayed or cancelled. The anesthesiologist or nurse from the facility will provide you with instructions on which medications you are allowed to take immediately before your surgery. If instructed to take any medications, they should be consumed with only a sip of water.

Presurgery Hygiene & Dress
  • Bathe or shower the night before surgery.
  • Nail polish, false fingernails, makeup, jewelry, and watches should not be worn the day of surgery. Possible exceptions should be specifically discussed with the pre-operative nurse or anesthesiologist.
  • Please wear comfortable, loose clothing, appropriate for the procedure being performed. Please bring walking shoes. You will need to undress and wear a gown during surgery.
  • Do not bring any valuables with you. You may wear dentures and glasses to the facility; however, it is recommended that you bring the case to place them in during surgery.
It is necessary to make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home, and ideally, to stay with you the first night following your surgery.
Medical Issues & Tests
A pregnancy test will be performed on all women of childbearing age prior to your surgery, as anesthesia and medications may be harmful to the developing fetus. If you experience any health changes between your last visit to your physician and the time of your procedures, please notify your physician immediately. Please report even minor changes, such as an elevated temperature, cold, or cough.
What Will Happen at The Facility Prior to Surgery?
  • At reception, you will be asked to complete the forms that apply to your stay with us, such as assignments of benefits, estimate of charges, resuscitate consent, and Medicare’s advance beneficiary notice, if applicable.
  • In the preoperative waiting area, a health care provider, such as the physician or a physician assistant, will have you read and sign a consent to surgery form acknowledging your understanding of the procedure and granting permission for your physician to perform the scheduled procedure or procedures. If the person having surgery is a minor, or is unable to sign forms, then a parent or legal guardian must sign the consent form.
  • A parent or legal guardian must accompany any minor or impaired adult the day of surgery and remain at Orthopedics New England throughout the patient’s stay.
  • A nurse will obtain and/or verify a health history, including height, weight, temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. A pregnancy test will be performed on all females of childbearing age. An EKG will be performed for patients who have a cardiac history, and a blood glucose test will be performed for those patients with a history of diabetes. Once these have been completed, she/he will assist in preparing you for your surgery.
  • You will be asked to change into a surgical gown. Your clothes and personal belongings will be placed into a personal belongings bag. You may either have the bag placed into a patient locker, or you may give it to the person who has accompanied you to Orthopedics New England.
  • Once the preoperative nurse has completed preparing you for surgery, you may invite one person into the pre-op waiting area to wait with you.

Post-surgery Preparations & Recovery

After Your Surgery

After completion of surgery, you will be cared for in our recovery area, where you will be closely monitored by the anesthesiologist and the recovery nurses until you are deemed ready to go home or moved to your inpatient room. Although the length of stay in the post-anesthesia care unit varies according to the type of procedure that was performed and your physician’s instructions, most patients are discharged within one hour following surgery.

What You Should Do After Returning Home

Your surgeon will provide postoperative instructions regarding diet, rest, exercise, and medications. Orthopedics New England will provide you with a written copy of these instructions. The Anesthesia department will discharge you when they are confident you are in stable condition. You may experience sleepiness, dizziness, or nausea. These are normal side effects, which may continue for 12 to 24 hours. As it is normal to feel drowsy after receiving an anesthetic, we also recommend that you postpone the following activities for at least 24 hours after discharge:
• Driving and operating equipment or machinery
• Signing important papers
• Making significant decisions
• Drinking alcoholic beverages
If you have any questions regarding surgery preparation and recovery at Orthopedics New England, please contact our staff at (508) 655-0471.