Dr. Marvalyn Decambre » Blog » Preparing for surgery? What you need to know

Preparing for surgery? What you need to know

The day prior to surgery you should have had all your labs completed, including covid testing. Most hospitals require covid testing by policy to protect the all the vulnerable patients and staff in the hospitals that died in large quantities during the peak of the pandemic. Most doctors will ensure that you are not infected for elective procedures and that your liver and kidney function is adequate for tolerating medications that process through them. Imaging and or EKG for older people and those with pre existing conditions to ensure the lungs and heart are prepped for handling the stress of surgery. Surgery is a stress on the body.

Most hospitals have policies that prevents you from eating starting 6-8 hours or drinking any liquids 2-3 hours prior to surgery. Why is this a requirement? The content in your stomach can regurgitate up to the level of the breathing tube meant to help get oxygen during your surgery. If that stomach content slips by the breathing tube which is in direct communication with your lungs you run the risk of that fluid in your lungs. If the balloons in your lungs called alveoli are filled with stomach contents you can die. To prevent this harm, you must respect the recommendations of the hospital to not eat/drink before your surgery.

Usually, your doctor will provide instructions to your anesthesiologist to ensure you have the appropriate antibiotic coverage that honors preventing bad bacteria overgrowing in the organ system your surgeon is working on during your surgery.

After surgery care requires preparation too. If you need antibiotics, pain medication, management of wound, therefore, you may need supplies and prescriptions before your surgery to ensure you have that information prior to your surgery and it is not an added piece of information you need to keep when you or loved one is recovering.

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