One week prior to surgery, you will visit the pre-testing unit to undergo specialized tests, an anesthesia interview and receive pre-operative instructions by a nurse. Allotted time: 2-3 hours. Arrangements will also be made for you to have a history and physical examination either by your primary care physician or by the Internal Medical Practice at Baystate Medical Center. You are required to come to 3300 Main Street on the day of your pre-test appointment to be weighed. Failure to do so may result in surgery being postponed.
These tests may include:
- Blood screening
- Chest X-Ray (CXR)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Scheduled pre-op after the initial office evaluation
If you wish to donate your own blood for surgery, it must be done within three weeks prior to surgery. Transfusions are rarely needed.
There are certain steps you will want to take before your operation to insure that you are in the best possible health:
- Exercise. Exercise and good hygiene are the main points of pre-operative care. Any exercise, including walking, will improve your cardiovascular system and thus make your breathing easier during recovery. However, you should consult your primary care physician before undertaking new vigorous exercises.
- Begin taking two showers a day a few days before you enter the hospital. Careful attention must be given to cleansing the abdominal area from the breasts to below the waist, making sure to clean between any folds of skin. Any soap will do. Practicing good oral hygiene is also important, since the mouth contains many bacteria that might cause wound infections in the post-operative period.
- Avoid binge eating prior to the operation.
- Take a multivitamin with minerals daily.
- Begin drinking sugar-free beverages.
- Avoid eating or drinking after midnight on the night before your operation.
- Take any medications which your physician has asked you to take with a sip of water.
On arrival to the hospital you will meet your surgeon and anesthesiologist in the pre-operative area. The anesthesiologist will place an epidural catheter to help in the management of your post-operative pain.