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Hip Replacement: Pre-op and Surgery Day

Once you and your surgeon decide that total hip replacement is right for you, the days and weeks leading up to surgery, as well as the day of surgery, require preparation. The following is a description of what you might expect.

Pre-Operative Procedure

You and your orthopedic surgeon may participate in an initial surgical consultation. This appointment may include pre-operative x-rays, a complete medical and surgical history, physical examination, and a comprehensive list of medications and allergies. During this visit, your orthopedic surgeon will likely review the procedure and answer any questions you may have.

Your orthopedic surgeon may require that you have a complete physical examination by your internist or family physician, as you will need to be cleared medically before undergoing this procedure. You will also need to have several tests done prior to your surgery. Please check with your surgeon for a list of the tests required.

Preparation for the Hospital

Before surgery, you should adhere to the following:

  • You should eat your regular diet on the day before surgery.
  • No food or water after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding use of medication in the days leading to your surgery. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories should not be taken 7 days prior to surgery as well as all vitamins and herbal medications. If you need to take something for pain, acetaminophen is fine.
  • Try to get long, restful nights of sleep. If you need a sleeping medication to help you, please let your doctor know.

Day of Surgery

On the morning of surgery, once you are admitted to the hospital, you will be taken to the pre-surgical area where the nursing staff will take your vital signs, start intravenous fluids, and administer medications as needed. You will be asked to empty your bladder just prior to surgery, and to remove all jewelry, contacts, dentures, etc. You will change into a hospital gown and be placed on a stretcher. You will be instructed on certain breathing techniques to use when you wake up after surgery. You will meet with your anesthesiologist who will review your medical history, current medications, and the type of anesthesia to be used during the procedure. Your surgeon will also identify you and the appropriate hip will be marked. Your family and friends will be given instructions on where to wait. At that time, you will be taken via stretcher to the operating room.

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Last Modified: November 5, 2020