The road to your surgery recovery begins before your surgery. The selections below will help guide you through how to prepare for your surgery and what your surgery recovery plan is with Stamford Health.
Questions For Preparing For Your Surgery With Your Doctor
- What complications are involved in my surgery?
- What's the risk of not having the surgery?
- How long will I need to stay in the hospital after my surgery?
- How much pain will I be in and will you explain my pain management options?
- Will you be reachable after my surgery if I have issues?
- Will my post-surgery plan include a rehab facility, or can I go home?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- When can I regain full activity again?
- Is there anything in particular I should avoid doing after surgery?
- When can I go back to work?
Things to do Before Your Surgery
Stamford Health’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program is designed to help you prepare for your surgery, before and after. ERAS aims to:
- Minimize pain
- Reduce length of hospital stay
- Reduce complications
- Get you back to your normal state of health as quickly as possible
Following initial pre-surgical tests by and consultation with your personal physician, you’ll be scheduled for additional screening through Stamford Health’s Pre-Surgical Optimization Program—or POP—required for every person having an inpatient procedure that requires a stay in the hospital. Once your surgeon’s office books your operation at Stamford Hospital, a preadmission testing nurse will call to set up your POP appointment that should take place one to two weeks before your surgery. If your surgery is scheduled at the Tully Health Center, your surgeon will advise you on your pre-operative testing.
Your POP visit will take place at the Tully Health Center in Stamford and will last around 90 minutes. The focus of the POP visit is to evaluate your readiness for surgery and develop an individualized plan based on your medical history, health status and postoperative needs. During your POP visit, you will meet with the preadmission nurse to review your overall health and medical history. Please bring all prescription medications and supplements to this appointment. Our medical team will verify these for your safety. Additionally, every patient scheduled for an inpatient procedure meets with and is evaluated by a Hospitalist (a physician specializing in the treatment of hospitalized patients) during their POP appointment. Depending upon your overall health and the type of surgery you are having, the POP team will determine if additional blood work, x-rays or cardiograms are needed. If you are hearing impaired or require a translator, please advise us so that we may make the necessary arrangements.
An insurance verification staff member will be calling you 48 hours prior to your surgery per regulatory requirements. This call will confirm insurance coverage and any out of pocket expenses.
You may also want to consider the following in advance:
- Before your surgery, it may be a good idea to prepare and freeze meals in bulk.
- Make sure your home is clear of loose items that can create an obstacle, such as wires and small rugs. If you think you need assistive devices such as crutches, a walker or an elevated toilet seat, check with your surgeon for recommendations.
Surgery Preparation Checklist For Your Procedure
- Exercise. Try to walk up to 10-30 minutes each day.
- If you are a smoker, please discuss cutting down with your surgeon.
- Shower once daily. Use chlorhexidine 2% wipes after your shower once a day for 2 days prior to surgery and once the morning of surgery. The wipes can be purchased at your local pharmacy.
- A prescription for postoperative pain medication or equipment (crutches/brace) may be given to you during your pre-surgical evaluation. We advise you to fill all prescriptions prior to your surgery.
- Please clean your CPAP masks or nasal prongs and bring it with you. You do not need to bring your CPAP machine. For your comfort, please tell the nurse your home settings when you arrive for your surgery.
- Be sure to start all pre-medication and/or bowel prep per your physician's orders.
On The Day Of Surgery
Both Stamford Hospital and the Tully Health Center have valet and self-parking available.
- At Stamford Hospital: Please go to the 1st floor main reception desk.
- At Tully Health Center: Please go to the 3rd floor Surgery Center, as directed.
Upon arrival you will be greeted and directed to the preoperative area. Your family member or guest may wait for you in the preoperative area after the admission process.
A nurse will review your information, answer questions and prepare you for your procedure. At this time, you will change into a patient gown for surgery. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you will be asked to remove them. If you wear jewelry, it must be removed, including wedding rings. If you wear a hearing aid, please have it with you.
An anesthesiologist will meet with you in the surgical area to discuss your anesthesia during the surgery. In addition, our anesthesia team will work together with our pain management department to help manage your pain after your procedure. Your surgeon will see you before your surgery to confirm the procedure.
The surgical team will then greet you prior to the procedure and escort you into the operating room. Team members may ask you similar or repeat questions to confirm and ensure a safe surgical procedure occurs.
A few important things to remember:
- Walk the day of surgery as directed. Physical therapy will be available if it was identified as needed during your POP appointment.
- Continue walking daily for 10-30 minutes.
- Brush your teeth, performing oral care twice daily.
- Eat as many of your meals in the chair as possible. If you are not eating be sure to sit in the chair for at least 30 minutes.
- Eat, drink, chew gum, or suck on hard candy as instructed.
- Use your incentive spirometer for 10 breaths every hour while you are awake. Ask your nurse for help if you do not remember how to use it.
After Your Surgery and Into Discharge
When the surgical procedure is completed, you will be transported to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), where a clinical team will monitor your progress. Once you are awake, sitting up and drinking fluids, your family member or guest may join you.
Your surgeon will visit to see how you are doing. If you are staying overnight in the Hospital, the staff will transport you to the surgical floor. If you are going home the day of surgery, a staff member will provide and review your postoperative instructions. The staff member will accompany you and your family member or guest to your car after discharge. You will not be able to take a taxi or drive yourself home after having anesthesia.
A family member or friend over the age of 18 years old must stay with you in your home for the first 24 hours, or your surgery will be cancelled. If you have any problems the evening or night of surgery, please call your physician’s office or go to the nearest Emergency Room. Lastly, schedule your follow up appointment with your surgeon. Usually, it is scheduled within 2 weeks of your surgery.
After your discharge from same-day surgery, a nurse from Stamford Hospital will call you within 24 hours to check on you. Another nurse will call you after 30 days to see how you are doing and if you have any questions.
Do not lift anything greater than 10 pounds for at least 2 weeks after your surgery. Your surgeon will give you further instructions on exercise.
Do not drive if you are taking any narcotics for pain.
If you have reduced the amount you smoke, discuss with your physician how to safely quit. If you would like to use Stamford Health's Smoking Cessation program, please call 203.276.QUIT. Please ask your nurse for a nicotine patch if you need one to help keep you comfortable for your stay at Stamford Hospital.
Let your doctor know right away if:
- you have not had a bowel movement for more than 3 days
- you have leg swelling and pain
- you have chest pain
- you have shortness of breath
- you are having signs and symptoms of infection including:
- wound opens, oozing pus
- wound is warm/hot to touch, red, painful to touch
- fever of 101 or higher
- severe pain in the area
After Surgery Recovery Instructions
- As you get ready for discharge, ask yourself the following:
- Do you have a plan in place?
- Do you live by yourself, and if so, can someone dedicate some time to help you perform tasks such as climbing up the stairs, cooking and cleaning?
- You may feel more comfortable with the following items once you're home:
- Commode or raised toilet seat
- Hand-held shower head
- Shower seat
- Walker, cane or other assistive walking device
- Chair cushion
- Long-handled sponge for bathing or showering