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What to Expect
Prior to your surgery
You should have ceased any anti-inflammatory or ‘blood thinning’ medication at least 7 days prior.
You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to your surgery. Note that some medications can be taken with a sip of water up to 4 hours prior to surgery.
For more information on medications that may need to be stopped prior to surgery, please click here.
The day of surgery
PLEASE BRING ALL XRAY/CT/MRI FILMS WITH YOU!
You will be admitted to the hospital a couple of hours before the operation. All necessary paperwork will be checked and completed, and a nurse will see you and ensure that you are fit and prepared.
The anaesthetist will then come and discuss your anaesthetic. Most operations are performed under a general anaesthetic. Depending on the surgery, the anaesthetist may also use a ‘block’. For upper limb surgery, this is usually an injection into the side of the neck. This is an excellent means of controlling postoperative pain, and it is also beneficial in helping to decrease bleeding during surgery.
Do not worry if you are asked many times ‘what surgery are you having?’ and ‘which arm?’ This is normal hospital protocol.
When it is time for surgery you will be taken on the trolley to the operating theatre.
After the surgery you will be taken to a recovery ward where the nurses will observe you whilst the anaesthetic wears off.
A temporary compressive/absorptive dressing covering the wounds will be in place. This acts to soak up excess fluid from the surgery (arthroscopy uses a lot of water to irrigate the joint during the procedure).
Following arthroscopic shoulder surgery, your hospital stay is usually one night, however, this can vary. If you have had a block, the arm will be numb and “dead” for up to six hours after surgery. Once this starts to wear off you will notice some pain. Notify your nurse as soon as you feel pain so that you can be given some pain killers. Arthroscopic knee surgery is usually performed as a day surgery procedure and most patients walk out of hospital without crutches.
You will be given a detailed instruction sheet about what exact procedure was performed and what exercises should be done prior to your review with Dr Clarke in 7 – 10 days time.