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Before Surgery Instruction

Supplements & Medications to Avoid Before Surgery
Do not ingest any brand of aspirin, aspirin containing drugs or even seratonin increasing medications on the Medications & Supplements to Avoid Before Surgery list for 14 days prior to surgery and 14 days after surgery. Aspirin and aspirin containing products may inhibit blood clotting and cause difficulties during and after surgery. If you need an aspirin-free fever reducer and pain reliever, take Tylenol. Also, if you smoke, you shouldn't smoke at least 2 weeks prior and at least 2 weeks after your surgery date. Smoking significantly reduces your body's superficial circulation and vascularity. This means difficulty in bringing much needed oxygen to your tissues for proper healing.

You will also be given a list of things to buy or have around you in your "healing room". Things like frozen peas for icing you down to ease the swelling and bruising (IF APPLICABLE). You will be asked to buy a soap for cleansing a few days before surgery (to kill Staph and other surface bacteria). Dr Simoni simply suggest Dial antibacterial soap. You will usually get gauze and other types of dressings to tend to your incision area. 

Preparing Your Home For Your Recovery
Please utilize the following tips to better prepare you for a more comfortable recovery:

  • Clean your house - or have it cleaned
  • Unless you are fortunate to have a significant other that can cook, shop for recovery food and treats like pudding, Jell-O, frozen dinners; or cook your own and freeze it. 
  • Take out the trash, recyclables, etc. so you don't have to worry about it during your recovery
  • Have all of your laundry taken care of
  • Make an errand or activity list (bills, thermostat settings, errands, etc.). 
  • Purchase all of your medications, Vitamin C and dressings beforehand in case your pharmacy is in short supply.
  • Place all medications either in a weekly pill "case" or in labeled containers, by day and time if need be.
  • Have a  lot of movies, books, magazines or videogames on hand.
  • A laptop is an awesome thing to have during recovery - have computer batteries/AC adaptors on hand
  • If no lap top, maybe a Gameboy or a Playstation/Nintendo set up near you - you will get bored.
  • Have someone watch your pets or children during the initial recovery phase
  • If you can't have them cared for, tend to their needs beforehand, i.e. put cans of food on the counter with the can opener
  • so you don't have to reach for it. Change the litter box as well. You don't want to expose yourself to these germs as well as no bending over!
  • Have a lot of fluffy pillows on hand
  • A comfortable recliner is a good thing, if not the bed is perfectly suitable, just keep your upper body elevated.
  • Have a  bucket or pail at your bedside and on the ride home in case you get sick - essential. Make sure it has a lid.
  • A nightstand with all of your medications, ample light, bottled water, a few packages of crackers, remote control (with new batteries) & the phone (fully charged) is a wonderful set to have for your convenience.
  • Have a nightlight set up so you don't fall during late night bathroom trips.
  • have extra blankets, anesthesia can give you the "chills" after surgery
  • A heating pad, hot water bottle or microwaveable pack is great for a sore back (which you will get for sure from sleeping elevated)
  • Have your significant other or an older child to help you with activities you cannot or should not perform yourself.
  • Have some crackers, Cheeze-its or Goldfish to help alleviate nausea - especially on the way home - bring a bottle of water to for the ride home. Sipping cool water helps alleviate nausea as well as gets rid of the taste in your mouth if you do vomit.
  • Place anything you may need at hip level so that you have no need to reach or bend down. This means canned and dry goods in the kitchen and toiletries in the bathroom. Bending over is just as bad as reaching over your head!
  • Have a robe and slippers (or several pair of thick socks) nearby
  • Have a few comfortable oversized shirts that open from the front on hand, as well as some sweat pants or pajama bottoms. 
  • Have a hand mirror nearby so you don't have to get up to preen.
  • If you have long hair a few "scrunchies" are great to put your hair back with to keep it out of your face, unknotted and out of the way.
  • Have a good moisturizer on hand - a must!
  • A box of Kleenex is great to have on hand, especially if you get all emotional from your meds or the anesthesia.
  • Make time for yourself before your surgery; pour a bath, pour in some bath salts, light some candles, listen to some music - relax. Try to gather your thoughts and soothe your mind. Afterwards, be sure to wash it all off afterwards with the antibacterial soap in the shower.
  • The night before (and with some surgeons for 3 days before) you will be asked to wash with Dial antibacterial or Hibiclens soap to help rid your body/face of its naturally occurring Staph on the skin's surface - you don't want a Staph infection!
  • Wash your hair the night before surgery - it may be a long time before you get to do that again.
  • Remove any fingernail and toenail polish. 
  • Talk to your spouse about any concerns that you may have, they may have some insights or questions you haven't thought of - and they may be experiencing pre-op anxiety as well.  
  • "Black out" your windows so that when you do get to sleep - regardless of the hours - you can stay asleep.
  • If you think television, video games and reading are eventually going to bore you or stress your eyes - have a discman (or walkman) on hand with your favorite relaxing cds.
  • Have fresh film or a disposable "post-op photo" camera on hand. Especially if you are considering documenting your procedure online (on a personal site or a website like this one)
  • Have your journal and a few fresh, fully inked pens ready if you are wanting to document your post-operative thoughts in writing. Or if you are like me it is easier to type it into that lap top or speak it into a miniature recorder. 
  • A body pillow is quite helpful, especially when you are allowed to sleep without major elevation.
  • A special neck pillow is a good investment to have so you do not sleep on your face or roll to the side.
  • Just in case the lights go out, have a flash light on your nightstand. 
  • Place nightlights to light your way to the bathroom should the need arise during the night.
  • If you don't have a laptop and you have online friends who are dying to hear from you - have your significant other "post" or email them with your recovery news. We worry, okay? Give him a list of the addresses and URLs
  • Have an answering machine connected to the phone next to your recovery area. Getting woken up when you just got to sleep is very annoying. Don't forget to turn down the volume and turn off the ringer.
  • I know many people advise not to look at your face but if you do break down and look, the results change every day so don't get discouraged. 
  • Take post-operative photos if you are opting to document your recovery.
  • Last but not least, RELAX. If you are super stressed out it can really affect your recovery. Try to remember that you will heal, you will be less sore and that you are going to look great! Just be patient.

Pre-op Shopping
All of the above suggestions and products you should buy may be overwhelming at first so print out our helpful shopping list to help you with your pre-op woes:
Pharmacy/Online:
Medications: 
___ pain meds __________________________________
___ antibiotics __________________________________
___ anti-inflammatory ____________________________
___ blood pressure (if applicable)  __________________
___ other  ______________________________________
___ other  ______________________________________
___ other  ______________________________________
___ Pill Case
___ Med Time Chart of when to take your meds.
___ Birth Control meds - don't forget if you are taking birth control that some antibiotics can interfere so in the event that you do have relations, use another form of protection as well.
___ dressings, gauze, Bacitracin
___ Antibacterial soap
___ Over the counter (OTC) sleep meds
___ Thermometer
___ Mild stool softeners (like Colace) ask your surgeon
___ silicone sheeting, Kelocote, steri-strips, Maderma (if applicable)
___ Moist Towelettes, Make-up remover towelettes
___ topical or oral Arnica montana
___ Oral Vitamin C unless otherwise specified
___  ACE bandage, support garments, chin straps, etc.  (if applicable).
___ OTC (over the counter) muscle relaxants (ask Dr Simoni first!)
___ hot water bottles/heating pads for your back
___ hand moisturizer
___ boxes of Kleenex
Grocery Store:
___ frozen bags of peas (if applicable)
___ Ritz crackers, Vanilla Wafers, Cheeze-its or Goldfish crackers to ease your stomach and take with medications (no garlic flavored)
___ bottled water, electrolyte or energy drinks (ask surgeon if these are okay)
___ Frozen dinners
___ pudding and Jell-O
___ fruit
___ cookies
___
___ __________________________________________________
___ __________________________________________________
___ __________________________________________________
___ __________________________________________________
Department Store or Other:
___ lots of fluffy pillows
___ whistle, walkie-talkie or an intercom system
___ camera
___ film or disposable camera
___ journal
___ ink pens
___ support garments, neck straps, etc.
___ Gameboy or a Playstation/Nintendo
___ bucket or pail with lid (for nausea)
___ fresh batteries for remote, Gameboy, Discman, booklight, phone, etc.
___ pj's, robe, or oversized, comfortable shirts that buttons in the front
___ pair of slippers (or several pair of thick socks)
___ hand mirror
___ hair "scrunchies"
___ Music CD's to listen to
___ Body pillow(s)
___ flash light or nightlight for late night bathroom trips
___ answering machine (or borrow friend's)
___ lap top with long phone cord (or borrow friend's)