You will have several visits with your health care provider and undergo medical tests before your surgery. Your health care provider will:
Do a complete physical exam.
Make sure other medical conditions you may have, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart or lung problems are under control.
Perform tests to make sure that you will be able to tolerate the surgery.
If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking several weeks before your surgery. Ask your doctor or nurse for help.
Tell your doctor or nurse:
What drugs, vitamins, herbs, and other supplements you are taking, even ones you bought without a prescription.
If you have been drinking a lot of alcohol, more than 1 or 2 drinks a day
During the week before your surgery:
You may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot. Some of these are aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), vitamin E, warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or ticlopidine (Ticlid).
Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery. Prepare your home for your return from the hospital.
On the day of your surgery:
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
Take the medications your doctor prescribed with small sips of water.Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
You should be able to start eating and drinking normally about 2 - 3 days after the surgery. How long you stay in the hospital depends on the severity of the problem. Complete recovery usually takes about 4 weeks.
Martin RS, Meredith JW. Management of acute trauma. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 18.
Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.