Preparing for Surgery
Once you and Dr Alex decide that surgery will help you, you’ll need to learn that preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
Working with Dr Alex
Before surgery, Dr Alex will give you a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before the surgery.
Discuss any medications you are taking with Dr Alex and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
Discuss with Dr Alex options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery.
If you are overweight, losing weight is advisable. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery.
If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.
Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
Report any infections to Dr Alex. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.
Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry. Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won’t have to reach and bend as often. Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls. Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.
preparing for Gynaecological surgery
If you are having Day Surgery, remember the following:
- Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.
- Do Not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home.
- The combination of anaesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.
Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty controlling the pain.
PREPARING FOR CAESARIAN SECTION
You would have discussed with Dr Alexander the date and time of the procedure. Dr Alexander will discuss with you any special preparations if needed depending on the course of your pregnancy. You will also be reminded to refrain from eating or drinking for eight before your surgery.
Checking into the Hospital
Present to the Mater Mothers Hospital 5th floor reception desk the morning of your surgery, usually two hours before the operation time. Once you’ve arrived at the hospital, you’ll check in and be shown to your room, where you’ll change into a hospital gown. Once in your room you will be admitted and assessed by the midwife including physical assessment (which includes checking vital signs and reviewing your medical history), the hairline 3 cm above pubic bone might be shaved down.
When the time comes, a nurse will bring you and your partner to the operating complex. You will meet with an anesthetist to discuss your options for anesthesia, and also meet the midwife, and Paediatrician. Your partner is allowed to sit at your side during your operation, he will be given hospital scrubs to wear during your surgery. During the operation, your partner will be prohibited from videotaping, however still photos is allowed. After an anesthetic is administered, you will lie down on an operating table and a catheter will be inserted to drain urine during your C-section and until you can attend to your own bathroom needs. Your doctor or attending nurse will then set up a curtain above your chest to separate you from your surgical team (giving you both some privacy during your operation). Your arms may be secured to keep you from accidentally reaching into the sterile surgical area. If you have regional anesthesia ( epidural or spinal ), the method generally preferred by doctors and hospitals, you’ll be awake during the operation. You won’t feel pain, but if you’ve had an epidural, you will probably feel pressure and pulling throughout the procedure. You should be able to talk to your partner and your doctor during the procedure.
Post-Op: Moments after Surgery
Once your baby is born, he or she will be examined by the paediatrician in the same operating room and that takes 5-10 minutes. The baby then is brought to your arms until the procedure is finished. You will then be moved to a post-op recovery room where you’ll be closely monitored, usually for the next one hours. A lot of what you’ll experience is based on the type of anesthesia. Women who’ve had general anesthesia will feel more groggy and sleepy. While those who had a spinal or epidural, may be experiencing “the shakes.” This uncontrollable shivering is harmless and is caused by a combination of the birth process and the medications you received in your spinal or epidural. If you received morphine through your spinal or epidural towards the end of surgery, you may also have an all-over itchy feeling—a common side effect. There are medicines which will help control the itching, should it become unbearable. If all is going well, you’ll be moved to your hospital room. You will still be closely monitored by nurses. Throughout your first day after delivery, you can expect checks of your vital signs, your incision, and your vaginal discharge. Your nurse will check the amount of urine you’re passing and will use a stethoscope to listen for bowel sounds. Your nurse will also assess your pain and help with pain management. You can have water after 4 hours, and if you feel well and nauseous will be allowed to have free fluids after 6 hours, and diet as tolerated the day after. The bladder catheter will stay for at least 12 hours, that is usually removed the second morning after the procedure and you will have what we call Trial Of Void. The nurse will measure the volume of urine that is left in the bladder after you urinate. That practice was put in place to insure the proper functioning of the bladder after spinal or epidural anaesthesia.