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Before Your Hospital Visit

Hospital Care

Tanner Health System staff members are dedicated to improving the outcomes of each patient and returning them to an active lifestyle.

Tanner's goals for all patients include:

  • Quick recovery from surgery
  • Fast return home and to normal activities
  • Pain management

Throughout all our patients' hospital stay, the recovery process is continually monitored. Many orthopedic patients require rehabilitation services following surgery. Physical and occupational therapists are available to work with patients at bedside within the first days following surgery. In addition, each surgical patient has a case manager assigned to review their care and to help coordinate services and equipment if ordered by the physician upon discharge from the hospital.

Preparing for Surgery

To get your home ready for your return:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you to follow-up appointments and to help with errands during your first weeks following surgery.
  • Remove rugs and extension cords in walking paths that can cause you to trip and fall. Make sure handrails are secure.
  • Put frequently used items where they can be reached easily. Set up a “recovery station” with cordless phone, medications and everyday essentials.
  • Pick a chair to sit in when you come home. A firm chair with arms and a seat height of at least 18 inches or that allows your feet to be flat on the floor is generally a good choice for those who have had knee or hip surgery.
  • Consider sleeping on the first floor of your home temporarily, because walking up and down stairs will be more difficult during early recovery from a knee, hip, foot or leg surgery.
  • Consider preparing and freezing meals in advance that can easily be heated.
  • Depending on the type of surgery you have, it may be helpful to use the following: shower bench or chair for bathing, an elevated toilet seat, safety bars or a handrail in your shower or bath.
  • You also may want to consider donating your own blood before surgery. This is known as autologous blood donation. This allows you to have your own blood available if needed during your recovery. Ask your physician for more information regarding this procedure.

The Pre-Op Visit

Your physician will schedule a preoperative (pre-op) visit at the hospital prior to your surgery. Please bring a list of current medications with you to this visit.

On the date of the pre-op visit, please present to the hospital’s registration desk, and then proceed to the short stay unit to complete a health assessment. A nurse, along with a member of the anesthesia department, will perform the assessment. You will be asked questions related to your health history. Lab, X-ray and possibly other diagnostic tests will be performed during this visit if your physician orders them.

The nurse also will provide information related to your upcoming surgical procedure including: not eating or drinking after midnight the night before your procedure, the time you will need to arrive to the hospital on the day of your surgery, how long the procedure will take, the amount of time you will be in the recovery room, etc.

The anesthesiologist will discuss anesthetic options and risks. He/she will discuss the advantages of general anesthesia (in which you are unconscious) and spinal or epidural anesthesia (in which the lower half of your body is completely numb and pain-free and you will sleep lightly but not be unconscious). He/she will recommend the best option for you.

The Night Before Surgery

  • You will spend the night before surgery at home.
  • You should not have anything to eat or drink after midnight.
  • Do not drink any alcohol for 48 hours before surgery; it delays the emptying of the stomach.
  • Try not to smoke (or try to at least cut back) for 48 hours before surgery; smoking increases anesthetic risk.

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