Before your surgery, you will receive a phone call from the hospital or surgery center regarding preoperative instructions. Listen very carefully and take notes; you would be surprised how much you can forget when you are a little anxious! It is difficult to address (or remember) everything, so here are a few items that will make your surgery go as smoothly as possible.
1. Do not eat or drink anything except clear liquids after midnight prior to your surgery. You may drink small amounts of clear liquids up to two hours before your surgery time, but please do not push the time limit. This is important because when you are sleepy in the operating room, things from your stomach can work their way up and back “down the wrong way” into your lungs. This is called “aspiration." If you think you might forget, post a note to yourself in the kitchen or on the faucets. You might even go as far as taping the refrigerator shut! Unfortunately, if you eat or drink after the deadlines, your surgery will have to be postponed.
2. Make sure that your primary care physician and any other necessary physicians have completed your pre-operative medical evaluation. We want to make sure that you are as healthy as possible for your surgery.
3. If you will be having your surgery at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, you will want to go to the South Entrance and sign in at Suite 100. If you will be having your surgery at Unasource, parking is available on the south and west sides of the building. Parking at both facilities is FREE. Valet parking is available at the Royal Oak main campus from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm for $4.
4. You will be called one to two days before surgery and told what time to arrive. Usually you are asked to arrive as early as 2 hours prior to your surgery time. This will allow time to get everything in order. Please allow enough time for traffic and bad weather (it is Michigan, after all!); if you arrive late, your surgery might have to be rescheduled for later in the day or another day.
5. You MUST arrange for someone to drive you home. You will be given at least some kind of narcotic or sedative (sleepy medicine) before, during, and/or after the operation. It is unsafe for you to drive or take public transportation. If you arrive without arrangements for a ride home, your surgery will have to be rescheduled. The only exception to this is for patients who are scheduled for "local anesthetic ONLY."
6. If we talked about you starting hand therapy within a few days of your surgery, make sure you call them BEFORE your surgery to set up an appointment; insurances sometimes take several days to process authorization for therapy, so the sooner you arrange it, the better.
7. Hopefully, your questions were answered in the office when we discussed the nature of your problem, your options, the surgical procedure we are planning, and the risks of surgery. We will see each other in the pre-operative holding area just prior to surgery, and I can answer any of your last minute questions then. I know that having surgery can be very scary; I have been there myself. We will address whatever concerns you might have.
8. You will receive printed post-operative instructions; there are general post-operative instructions on this site as well. Please read them before your surgery date so that you can learn about your recovery and pain control following surgery. Also, take a look at the hints on living one-handed to see how you can prepare yourself, your family, and your home for your recovery period.
9. During preparation on the day of your surgery, you might be asked if you are willing to participate in a research project, which might involve donating small samples to the Beaumont BioBank. I appreciate your consideration greatly; please understand that your decision whether or not to participate will not affect your procedure. For more information, click here.