We want everyone who comes to San Orthopaedics to feel fully prepared and confident about what’s ahead. So, we’ve gathered some useful information to help you get ready for your procedure, outlining what you can expect to happen before, during and after your surgery. Of course, if you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please get in touch.
Before you come to San Orthopaedics, you’ll need to complete some forms which gives us all the information we’ll need throughout your stay. Please do this online as soon as possible after your doctor confirms your admission, and if you have issues doing this online just get in touch.
Preparing for your stay
While you’ll generally be admitted to hospital on the morning of your surgery, you may require pre-operative investigations, which will be done beforehand. Hip and knee replacement patients will receive pre-operative education as part of our PERFORM program, tailored support your return home before you are even admitted. Other patients may be asked to attend our pre-admission clinic (PAC) for pre-operative tests and to meet with staff involved in your care as required.
Any specific requirements (like fasting) will be explained to you, and your Pre-admission Booklet contains everything you need to know about accessing the hospital including our location, parking, public transport options and more.
Your admission & stay
Please avoid using any creams or powders before surgery – and if you use a walking aid, be sure to bring it with you (and label it with your name).
At the San you can find a number of handy services on-site, including several eateries, a pharmacy, a gift shop, a book centre, a florist and a hairdresser.
After your surgery
When you return from the operating theatre after a surgical procedure, you’ll have a drip in your arm delivering fluids (like antibiotics and pain relief), and possibly a drain from your wound or a catheter to drain your urine. These will be checked regularly (along with your vital signs and pain levels) and in most cases you’ll only need them for a day or two.
Movement is key to recovering from orthopaedic operations, and staff will assist you in getting out of bed and doing appropriate exercises. If your doctor suggests anti-thrombotic stockings, these should be worn until you’re completely back on your feet again.
While some discomfort is normal, you should not be in pain – and you’ll be regularly offered pain relief. Please let us know if this isn’t adequate. You should be able to resume normal eating habits quite quickly.
Reducing the risk of blood clots
When you’re immobile for a period of time (such as in bed after surgery), the risk of blood clotting increases. These can form in your legs (DVT) and potentially travel to your lungs, which is why we work very hard to prevent them. The best way to avoid clots is to stay as active as possible before your surgery, get moving as soon as you can afterwards, and maintain good hydration. In some cases, your doctor may recommend anti-thrombotic stockings or low dose blood thinners, too.
If you have any unusual pain or swelling on your legs, pain in your lungs of chest, or difficulty breathing, please let us know right away.
Preventing pressure ulcers
Also known as bed sores, pressure ulcers can occur when you’re laid up in one position for long periods. They may look minor, but can involve quite a bit of damage under the skin – so we do everything possible to avoid them. The best way you can contribute is by moving as much as you can, keeping your skin and bedding dry, and sticking to a nutritious diet.
When your doctor decides you’re ready to return home (or move to a rehabilitation facility), you will be officially discharged from San Orthopaedics. You’ll be given a discharge summary, exercise instructions from your physio, and any x-rays, referrals or medications you may need. Please arrange someone to come and collect you (discharge time is usually around 10am). Usually, you’ll need a post-op appointment with your surgeon in the weeks after you’re discharged, so please check your discharge information and book this.
If you’re going straight home, it’s important that you have the assistance and equipment you need to go about your daily life safely while on crutches. If you have any concerns about this, feel free to chat to the team caring for you – they can help you get set up ahead of time.