Preparing for Surgery & Procedure
Once you and Associate Professor Adam Bartlett decide that surgery will help you, there are a number of steps that will need to be completed.
Depending upon the requirements of your Private Insurance, you may need to obtain pre-approval. The staff at A/Professor Adam Bartlett’s rooms will be able to assist you in this and provide the necessary documents to complete the approval process.
Working with Your Doctor
You will need to complete an anaesthetic questioner that will be sent through to the anaesthetist that will be looking after you.
They will contact you by phone and may arrange to see you prior to surgery. It is important to declare any previous medical conditions or operations prior to surgery as they may interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before the surgery. If there is a possibility you may require a blood transfusion, you will need to have blood taken 1-3 days prior to surgery to ensure that blood is appropriately cross matched. It is important that you document all the medications you are taking to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery – especially those that interfere with blood clotting (warfarin, clexane, clopidogrel). If you smoke, you should stop or at least cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery. There is no rule to good nutrition prior to surgery, but it is important to eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by daily multivitamins and protein if malnourished.
Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry; If you require a laparotomy, then you can not lift more than 6kg or strain for 6 weeks post-operatively.
Following laparoscopy you should avoid heavy lifting or straining for at least 2 weeks post-operatively; 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 Procedure
If you are having Day Surgery, remember the following: Have someone available to take you home, as 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. If you are having major surgery, it is advisable that you have someone at home with you when you are discharged, at least for few days. If you live outside of Auckland, then it is often best to stay a couple of nights outside the hospital in Auckland before returning home, to ensure that you are able to cope.