Before and After Surgery Tips

How do I schedule Surgery?

If surgery is indicated, surgery will be scheduled during an office visit.

What to expect on the day of surgery:

The surgery center will have already notified you the day before as to what time you should arrive. Most procedures are outpatient so you will go home the same day. When you arrive at the surgery center you will check in and be brought back to prep you for the surgery. The doctor will come talk to you before the surgery and answer any questions you may have. If you receive anesthesia you will stay for a short time after the procedure. The doctor will see you again after the surgery and give you pain medication if necessary, workslip, and discharge instructions. Make sure that you leave all jewelry at home and wear comfortable and loose clothes that will go over the post op dressing.

Where do the physicians perform their surgeries?

The doctors perform surgery at Metro Health Hospital, Helen Devos Children’s Hospital, Spectrum facilities, Metro Health/OAM Surgery Center, and Walker Surgical Center.

What time is my surgery?

The surgery center will call you the day prior to surgery to let you know what time to arrive. If you have not heard from them please call them.

What medications do I need to stop before surgery?

Aspirin and products containing aspirin and anti- inflammatories should be stopped 1 week before surgery. The following drugs are considered anti-inflammatories or other products which can cause increased bleeding during surgery and also should not be taken 7 days prior to surgery: Ansaid, Arthrotec, Celebrex, Clinoril, Daypro, Disalcid, Dolobid, Feldene, Indocin, Lodine, Meclomen, Monogesic, Motrin, Nalfon, Naprosyn, Orudis, Relafen, Tolectin, Trilisate, Voltaren, Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Mediprin, Nuprin, Vitamin E, Glucosamine, CoQ10, Fish Oil, Ginko, Ginseng, Herbal Licorice, Ma Huang, Natural Phen/fen, St.John’s Wort, or Szechwan.

Please note: Before stopping any of these medications, be sure to consult the physician who ordered them. Some of these medications such as Coumadin and Plavix are ordered to prevent or treat serious conditions and other heart problems. If you are unsure if you are taking an aspirin product or anti-inflammatory, please ask your doctor or nurse.

What should I do if I’m not feeling well before surgery?

If you think that you may be ill, running a fever, coughing or congested before surgery please call the office. We’d like you to be as healthy as possible before surgery and may suggest you visit your PCP for evaluation.

What should I bring/wear the day of surgery?

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing such as t-shirts, button down shirts, sweat pants/warm ups or baggy shorts that will fit over bandages or dressing following surgery. Please do not bring valuables or wear jewelry the day of surgery.

General Discharge Instructions/Precautions

  • Keep your dressing clean and dry. Do not remove your dressing unless otherwise instructed

  • Elevate your hand as much as possible to minimize swelling, especially for the next 72 hours. You may apply ice to your dressing as needed.

  • To prevent stiffness to your shoulder, elbow, and unrestricted parts of your hand and wrist, we ask that you perform active range of motion exercises each hour while awake.

  • You may have received a narcotic for pain relief. If you feel that you don’t need something that strong, adults may use Extra-Strength Tylenol and children may use Children’s Tylenol as directed. Please take your prescription with food, water or liquid antacid.

  • If you need a refill on your pain medication please make sure that you call between 8am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. You will not be able to get a refill after hours, weekends or holidays.

  • Call the office or answering service at 616-957-4263 if you are having difficulty following your surgery. These difficulties may include:

    • Loss of sensation in your fingertips; however, if you had a “block” anesthetic (numbing medication), your hand or part of your hand may be numb for up to 24 hours.

    • Fingers turning white or cold compared to other fingers on the same hand.

    • Severe pain not relieved by pain medication.

    • Blood soaked through your dressing.

    • Fever or wound drainage.

  • If you are unable to reach the physician on call for our group, go to the local emergency room.

Post operative FAQ’s

How often do I change my post op dressing?

You need to leave the bandage/dressing on until your post op appointment unless your doctor told you otherwise.

When can I get the stitches/staples wet?

Keep your wound dry until the stitches/staples come out at the post op appointment unless your doctor told you otherwise.

How do I get a refill on my medication?

Prescription refills are formulated Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. Expect up to 48 hours before your prescription is ready. Please confirm with your pharmacy that the prescription is ready prior to picking it up. Prescriptions will not be refilled after hours, on the weekends or holidays. You may also request medication refills on our patient portal.

All narcotics need to be picked up from the office and brought to the pharmacy.

Who do I call if I am having a problem?

If you have a question or problem during office hours please call the office or send a message through the patient portal. You may have to leave a message for one of the staff members but your call will be returned as soon as possible, usually by the close of office hours. Emergency calls to our office will be handled immediately. If you are having problems after hours, you can call the main number at 616-459-3900 and your call will be forwarded to the answering service. An operator will take your information and the doctor on call will return your call. While this may not be your doctor, all physicians are equipped to assist you. You may also come into our OAM now clinic to be evaluated which is open Monday-Friday from 3pm-9pm and Saturday from 9am-5pm.

I am feeling nauseated- what is the likely cause?

Some patients feel nauseated after surgery for up to a week. This is often from the medications given in surgery and the feeling will gradually subside. Narcotic pain medication can also cause nausea in some people. Make sure that you take your pain medication with food. Also pain medication can cause constipation which can be alleviated with a stool softener such as Colace or Senekot.

Is it better to apply heat or ice after surgery on an injury?

Ice is recommended over heat as the ice reduces pain and swelling. Heat has the opposite affect and may increase bleeding and swelling and is not initially recommended after surgery or injury.

How often should I use ice and elevate after surgery?

It is recommended that you elevate as often as possible to help with pain and swelling. Ice is recommended to be done as often as possible but no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Do not place ice packs directly on the skin.

What can I do if the ice isn’t getting through my dressing?

You may make your own custom ice pack. You will need 2 large Ziploc bags, 4 ounces of water, and 4 ounces of Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol. Mix the water and the alcohol. Pour into one of the Ziploc bags. Close that bag tightly and place it into the other Ziploc bag. Place it in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Keep the ice pack away from children and pets as ingestion is harmful. When the ice pack is removed from the freezer, mold the bag into a custom fit by applying the pack around the site of injury and/or surgery. Even though dressings may be bulky, the cold will still help with the pain and swelling.

When may I shower/bathe?

If you have been instructed to leave your bandage/splint in place, please leave it intact, clean and dry until your follow up appointment. You may cover your bandage/splint with a trash bag or saran wrap and waterproof tape to keep it dry during showers. You can also utilize a hand towel or washcloth inside of the plastic bag over your bandages to ensure any water leaks are absorbed by the towel versus your bandages. If you have been instructed to remove your bandage after so many days, you may shower and wash the incision with soap and water. It is not recommended that you submerge the incision in water (i.e. bath tub, pool, or hot tub).

Who should I talk to about Disability Forms and FMLA forms?

All disability and FMLA forms need to go through our medical records department. Forms may be brought into the office and dropped off at the greeters desk at the main entrance. If you have any questions please call 616-459-3900 extension 1879.