Totally Hip SURGERY PREP List
Last-minute tips for all pre-op hippies
Folks, here are a few tips I haven't seen discussed in a while:
1) Write "no" or "other side" on your non-op hip, in the pen of your choice.
2) Carry a note into the OR requesting a record of the part, lot and serial numbers for all hardware you receive. I received a photocopy of the polybag ID label for each hip component--stem, head, cup, liner.
3) If you receive general anesthetic, be sure you request--and are shown how to use--an incentive spirometer (plastic breath-exercise "toy"). This gadget, properly used, can prevent post-op collapsed lung and pneumonia.
4) Keep drinking water, as soon as you're able. You'll be receiving numerous drugs during and after surgery, some of which are toxic to the kidneys. So keep drinking, even if you're not particularly thirsty.
5) If any drug infusions hurt your vein (I had pain with Toradol), ask the nurse to infuse it SLOWLY. If your IV site gets painful or even slightly puffy, complain at once and get the IV moved. Phlebitis (inflamed vein) is very painful and takes many weeks to heal.
6) Take phone numbers for your surgeon's office and general doc's office, and have a friend or family member tape that paper to your nightstand. If you develop any problem in the middle of the night and don't trust the hospital staff, you can always phone your surgeon's answering service, yourself, and have him paged. You probably won't need to do so, but having the numbers handy will give you peace of mind. Make sure your loved ones have these numbers, too.
7) Pack earplugs--preferably foam plugs on a string--and a sleep mask. These help against unwanted voices (including the hospital PA systems) and light.
8) Lip balm is also a good idea.
9) Toothbrush is good.
10) Bring loose pants for the homeward journey.
Everything else is superfluous.
GOOD LUCK, all!