There are a few necessary steps to take before your joint replacement surgery.
- Visit a physician for a Pre-Operative physical: Your surgeon's office will likely help set this up for you. It is necessary to see an internal medicine doctor to ensure that your body is physically ready for surgery. You can expect for labs to be drawn at this appointment, and an EKG to be completed if your physician feels this is necessary. If you have an extensive heart history, please be advised that it may also be necessary to schedule an appointment with your cardiologist.
- Complete a Dental Exam: If you have not seen a dentist within the past 5-6 months it is necessary to do so before your joint replacement. The dental exam is extremely important and is done as protection against the development of a joint infection in cases where the source is a bad tooth.
- Contact your Insurance Company: It is often necessary to contact your insurance company in order to obtain authorization for the planned procedure. At this time, it is also important to inquire about prescription coverage for medications that you will likely be discharged home on, either Lovenox or Arixtra. These are medications that prevent against the development of blood clots; your surgeon will notify you of which they will prescribe for you.
- Attend a Pre-Op Class: When your surgeon's office schedules you for surgery, you will be contacted by the SVH Orthopedic Care Coordinator to help register you for a Pre-Op Joint Class. These are offered the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month at 9am and the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 12pm at the Mansfield Health Education Center at SVH. Please contact 406-237-7589 to schedule a class or if you have additional questions.
- Surgery Plus Pre-admission: After your pre-op visit at the Orthopedic Surgeon's office, we ask that you visit SVH Surgery Plus for pre-admission to the hospital. Here, a nurse will review your medical history and current medication list. You will also receive additional information on how to prepare for your surgery, and additional lab work or testing may be done if indicated by your surgeon or medical doctor.
- Orthopedic Surgeon Pre-Operative appointment: During this visit with your Orthopedic Surgeon, you will have the opportunity to ask your surgeon any final questions or concerns, sign your surgical consents, review results from your previous appointments, and discuss surgery details further.
- Before surgery, it is important to stop taking medications that will increase bleeding and/or herbal medications. Please follow all medication instructions from your surgeon and internal medicine doctor, and ensure that they are aware of any daily medications you take, including herbals and vitamins. It is also important to stop smoking before your scheduled joint procedure. Smoking delays the healing process and can also cause problems with blood clotting and blood pressure. If you need help quitting, please notify any of your healthcare providers.