Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding surgery. This list has been designed to assist you in understanding the steps involved in scheduling and conducting your surgery as well as the process of recovery. This list may provide answers to many of the questions you currently have, or it may prompt you to consider some issues you may have not even considered.
What can I expect to happen before my surgery?-+
Your patient advocate will discuss with you when the surgery is scheduled.
Our office will call to verify that our services are "in-network" with your health insurance company and to pre-certify the surgery. We always advise patients to also call their insurance company to verify benefits.
What if I have paperwork that needs to be completed prior to surgery?-+
Please contact our office as soon as possible to ensure this can be completed prior to your surgery. You should allow 7-10 days for paperwork or forms to be completed.
Will I stay overnight in the hospital?-+
Almost all surgeries are done as an outpatient procedure, which means you will go home later that day after your surgery. However, if there is a medical indication, such as a reaction to anesthetic, you may need to be admitted overnight.
Will I be put to sleep for surgery?-+
Regional anesthesia is usually requested as it can be very beneficial for pain management after surgery. There are several newer medications and anesthesia techniques to make your experience pleasant. You will be able to discuss this with the anesthesia team prior to surgery and have input with the anesthetic you choose.
Can I take my medicines before surgery?-+
Yes. Most medicines can be taken before surgery and most medicines prescribed by a doctor and taken on a regular basis should be continued until the night before your surgery with sips of water.
What should I wear for surgery?-+
Wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes. The surgical dressing you have when you leave the hospital is rather bulky. If you are having upper extremity (arm or shoulder) surgery, please wear a shirt or jacket that buttons or zips up the front rather than one that requires you to pull it over your head. If you are having lower extremity (leg) surgery, please wear shorts or loose fitting pants like sweatpants.
What will be done about the pain of surgery?-+
When you leave the hospital after surgery you will be given a prescription for a narcotic pain medication. It is always best to try to take pain medicines with food because taking it on an empty stomach probably will make you nauseous (sick to your stomach). Elevating and placing ice on the affected body part will also aid in relieving post-surgical pain. If on Percocet and you are experiencing itching, you may take Benadryl, Claritin, or any other antihistamine. Please take all prescriptions as directed as there will be NO EARLY REFILLS.
What if I run out of medicine?-+
If you believe that you need more pain medicine you should contact our office for a refill. We recommend that you plan accordingly and call during working hours. This will allow us to contact the pharmacy while they are still open. Some pain medicines can not be called in over the telephone and refilled. Please be advised that some medicines do require a written prescription to be completed by the physician. Please allow 24 hours for medications to be refilled. Therefore, if you think you are running low, please call the office so that you do not run out before the process is completed. Furthermore, narcotic medication can be addicting and we sometimes change the postoperative medications to prevent this from happening.
When do I see Dr. Foad after surgery?-+
When your surgery has been scheduled, a post-op appointment has already been made. If it has not or the physician wants you to be seen earlier, please call our office at 513-354-3700.
Can I get the dressing wet?-+
No. The dressing should be kept clean and dry at all times. You may remove the original dressing 2-3 days after surgery only if you have had carpal tunnel surgery, trigger finger release, or if otherwise instructed by the physician.
Is it common to have some blood on the dressing?-+
Yes, this is a common occurrence especially with arthroscopic surgery because of the fluid used during the operation. If the dressing is entirely soaked in blood or more than halfway soaked with blood, this is not normal and you should call our office. Swelling and some numbness, and increased pain is all normal. To help with these problems ice and elevate and make loose fist.
When can I take a shower?-+
If you have been instructed to remove your dressing after three days then you may shower at that time. NEVER SUBMERGE THE WOUNDS IN A BATHTUB, HOTTUB, OR SWIMMING POOL UNTIL THE STITCHES ARE REMOVED.
When do the stitches come out?-+
Usually 7-10 days after surgery during your postoperative visit in the office. After the stitches are removed, small strips of tape (called steri-strips) may be applied to the wound for additional protection. These will usually begin to fall off in about 10 days. If they have not come off 10 days after they are applied, you may remove them.
What medications should I avoid before surgery?-+
Most prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines must be discontinued 7 days prior to your surgery. Medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, Naproxen, Midol and Aleve cause you to bleed more during surgery. If you are taking any of these medicines please let our office know. Tylenol or acetaminophen can be taken for pain, fever or headache during the week before surgery.
Can I eat before surgery?-+
No! You cannot eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your surgery. The nurses at the hospital are required by law to ensure you do not drive yourself home after you have been given pain medicines. (That is why they take you out in a wheelchair and make sure you get into a car with a driver you know). You cannot take a cab or bus home.
Will my surgeon be performing the procedure?-+
Yes! Your surgeon will perform the operative procedure. He often does have "help" in the operating room that may include sports medicine fellows, orthopaedic surgery residents, or a surgical physician assistant.
Will my surgeon talk with me and with my family after my surgery?-+
Yes. However, many of the medicines given to you for surgery will cause you not to remember some of the activities during the day of surgery. He will talk to your family in the consultation room while you are recovering. Furthermore, there will be a postoperative instruction sheet for you to take home and the nurses will review this with you prior to you going home.
Will I need any special equipment for my surgery?-+
Some surgeries will require special equipment like a brace or sling. Sometimes a brace company will contact you to schedule a fitting for a brace. If you receive a telephone call from this company before your surgery, please call them back. They have been given your name and telephone number from our office to make arrangements to get required equipment to you before your surgery. Most insurance companies cover most or all of the costs of the equipment. If your policy does not, they will inform you ahead of time what amount you may be responsible.
Will the hospital call me before surgery?-+
Yes. They will confirm that the information we have given them is correct and pre-register you for your surgery. The nurses from the hospital will also call you a day or two before surgery. They will confirm the time of your surgery and also let you know what time you are required to be at the hospital.
What if the hospital tells me a different time for my surgery?-+
Surgery times given by our office are tentative. If the hospital gives you a time different than the one given to you by our office, please go by the time the hospital tells you. The anesthesia staff may be required to change surgery times to accommodate specific medical illnesses or life threatening emergencies of other patients.
When can I go back to work?-+
This is totally dependent upon the type of work that you perform and the type of surgery you have had. If your employer is able to accommodate some physical restrictions you may be able to return in a day or two. Some surgeries do require limitations in your activities for as much as 4-6 weeks. Please discuss your case with the surgeon at your follow-up appointment. Many employers require a written note stating you may or may not return to work. Please make sure that the medical assistant provides this for you when you are leaving your appointment.
When may I drive?-+
For lower extremity (leg/knee) surgery it will depend on your comfort and safety to use the foot pedals. For upper extremity (shoulder/elbow) surgery it is usually 4-6 weeks. This is due to safety reasons and legal issues because of the requirements to have two hands on the steering wheel. The surgeon can discuss this with you before and after surgery.
What is an emergency or urgent situation that would require me to contact the office?-+
- An entirely blood soaked dressing.
- Fever above 102° F (It is normal to have a low grade fever after any surgical procedure).
- Chest pain or shortness of breath.
- Severe calf pain.
- Persistent warmth and redness in area.
- Unbearable and increasing pain.
- Severe nausea and vomiting.
What if I have an emergency and need to talk to someone right away?-+
If it is during our normal business hours(8am-5pm,M-F) then please call the office at 513-354-3700 and for the physician’s staff. If it is after hours you may call 513-354-3700 and listen to the recording to reach the doctor on call.