Once a decision has been made to proceed to an operation, you will be prepared for the day of surgery. You will also find it helpful to make some preparations yourself, as outlined in this section. You will have ample opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
Your recovery from certain types of surgery is faster if you perform certain simple exercises in the lead-up to surgery. You will be instructed on how to do these by Mr. Sood and/or by one of his Specialist Physiotherapists.
Preparations to make before surgery
A couple of weeks before Surgery
After day-case surgery, for example, an arthroscopy (key-hole surgery), you will be up and about and back to a normal level of mobility quite quickly. However, after more major surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement, although you will be mobile and independent quite quickly, you will take longer to get back to your normal level of mobility. For this reason, before coming in for a bigger operation, it is a good idea to try and organise a few things at home to make it easier and safer for you when you are discharged from the hospital.
Some things to consider are:
-whether you need to arrange for a friend or relative to visit and assist you for the first few days after you are discharged, for example, with meals
-ensuring that you are stocked-up with food and other items. Perhaps ask a friend to help or arrange a supermarket home delivery
-making sure that the lavatory and bathroom are easily accessible
-ensuring that any potential trip hazards (such as loose rugs) are dealt with
-ensuring that any potential obstructions to you moving easily around the house on crutches are dealt with.
If you have more significant needs or concerns, please mention these when you are seen at your preassessment visit so that these can be dealt with and planned for prior to your admission. This will ensure that everything is in place before you are discharged from hospital.
A couple of days before surgery
You will be advised of the time at which you should report to the hospital on the day of surgery, and the time at which you should have your last meal and last drink of water (you must not eat within 6 hours of your surgery). We aim to ensure that our patients are not deprived of food and water for any longer than is necessary for safe surgery.
The day of surgery
You will arrive at the hospital, appropriately starved, and will be admitted. The ward nurses will do various checks and prepare you for your operation. You will be seen by Mr. Sood, his anaesthetist and the ward physiotherapist. You will then go to the operating theatre for your surgery.
After your operation
You will be monitored in the recovery area for a period of time before being transferred back to the ward. You will be kept pain-free and will often rest for a few hours before eating and drinking. The ward nurses will continue to carefully monitor you. If you have had a day-case procedure, you will start walking very soon with the aid of crutches. You will have something to eat and drink and, when you feel well, you will be allowed home. Typically, this is about 4-6 hours after surgery.
If you have had a bigger operation you will typically start walking the next day, although some patients sit out and take their first steps later on the day of surgery. After a hip or knee replacement, most patients are ready for discharge after about 4 days, although some are ready a day or so earlier than this, and some stay a day or so later.
A follow-up appointment will be arranged for you to see Mr. Sood in his clinic.
A physiotherapist will see you daily during your hospital stay. After you leave hospital, arrangements will be made for you to have further physiotherapy sessions as necessary to optimise your return to normal activity. Both Mr. Sood and your physiotherapist will monitor your progress.