St. Nicholas Hospital Services > Care Management and Social Services


Hip Resurfacing: Pre-op & Surgery Day

Once you and your orthopedic surgeon decide that hip resurfacing is right for you, the days and weeks leading up to surgery, as well as the day of surgery, require preparation. The following is a description of what you may expect.

Pre-operative Procedure
You and your orthopedic surgeon may participate in an initial surgical consultation. This appointment may include pre-operative X-rays, a complete medical and surgical history, physical examination, and a comprehensive list of medications and allergies. During this visit, your orthopedic surgeon will likely review the procedure and answer any questions.

Your orthopedic surgeon may require that you have a complete physical examination by your internist or family physician, as you will need to be cleared medically before undergoing this procedure. Your surgeon may suggest that you consider donating your own blood to save in case you require it during surgery or in the event of a post-operative blood transfusion.

Preparation for the Hospital
You may want to bring the following items to the hospital:

  • Clothing: underwear, socks, t-shirts, exercise shorts for rehabilitation
  • Footwear: walking or tennis shoes for rehab, slippers for hospital room
  • Walking aids: walker, cane, wheelchair, or crutches if used prior to surgery
  • Insurance information

Before Surgery, You Should Adhere to the Following:

  • You should follow your regular diet on the day before your surgery.
  • DO NOT EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT the night before surgery. On the morning of surgery, you may brush your teeth and rinse your mouth, but do not swallow any water.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding use of medication in the days leading to surgery. In some cases, a blood thinner may be ordered a few days before surgery. Generally, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications should not be taken seven days prior to surgery.
  • Try to get long, restful nights of sleep. A sleeping medication may be ordered the evening before surgery.

Day of Surgery
On the morning of surgery, once you are admitted to the hospital, you will be taken to the appropriate pre-surgical area where the nursing staff will take your vital signs, start intravenous (IV) fluids, and administer medications as needed. You will be asked to empty your bladder just prior to surgery, and to remove all jewelry, contacts, etc. (Rings not removed will be taped.) Once you change into a hospital gown, you will be placed on a stretcher, and transported to the operating room. The anesthesiologist will meet you and review the medications and procedures to be used during surgery.

Surgery and Recovery
When surgery is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room for a period of close observation. Your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature will be closely monitored by the recovery room staff. Special attention will be given to your circulation and sensation in your feet and legs. When you awaken and your condition is stabilized, you will be transferred to your room.

Although the protocols may vary from hospital to hospital, you may awaken to some or all of the following:

  1. A large dressing may have been applied to the surgical area.
  2. You may see a hemovac suction container with tubes leading directly into the surgical area. This device allows the nurses to measure and record the amount of drainage from the wound following surgery.
  3. An IV will continue post-operatively in order to provide adequate fluids. The IV may also be used for administration of antibiotics or other medications.
  4. A catheter may have been inserted into your bladder as the side effects of medication often make it difficult to urinate.
  5. An elastic hose may be applied to decrease the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A compression device may also be applied to your feet to further prevent DVT.
  6. A patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) device may be connected to your IV, allowing you to control the relative amount and frequency of pain medication. To prevent overdose, the unit is programmed to deliver a pre-defined amount of pain medication anytime you press the button of the machine.

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