Under the Knife- Tips for Surgery

In any given week I have several patients or friends who are having surgery. “Come and go”, outpatient surgery is the fastest growing type of surgery. Even though surgery has become about as common as getting a haircut, patients should not be cavalier about it. There is a growing awareness nationwide about patient safety and improving quality and surgery is one area that is getting a lot of attention. The patient safety movement brings the patient into the partnership with doctors and nurses as members of the care team to help improve surgical care overall. When we work as a team, patient care is safer. If you or a relative is contemplating surgery, this is what you need to know:

* Tell your surgeon about other problems you may have…allergies, diabetes,smoking history. How you are handled in the operating suite may be different with this knowledge.

* Ask if you will be receiving antibiotics. Patients have better outcomes when antibiotics are given within 60 minutes before surgery and are ususally stopped within 24 hours.

* If hair needs to be removed from the surgical site, it should be clipped. Shaving leaves small nicks that increases risk of infection.

* If your surgery is complicated or prolonged, the risk of blood clots increases. Ask your doctor if there is any need for medication or special devices to prevent blood clots.

* Make sure you check out this website for information about anesthesia. Here you will find great tips for you to know before surgery. Anesthesia info

* Ask if you should take your regular medication the day of surgery.

* Make a list of all of your medications, including over the counter, and take it with you.

These things sound simple, but its amazing how many people go under the knife without knowing what the surgery is, how long they will be in the hospital and what the aftercare plan is. Check out this link for more info. Be part of the team

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