Morning of Your Surgery
Certain medications may be taken with a sip of water the morning of your surgery.
After checking in, you will be taken to the pre-operative holding area. Here, an IV will be placed and anti-thromboembolic stocking (TED hose) will be placed on the non-operative leg. You will meet the anesthesiologist at this time and Dr. Chaudhary will also be there.
If you are having a knee replacement, your anesthesiologist will perform a peripheral nerve block. This is called an adductor canal nerve block and will help reduce post-operative pain. The block involves infiltration of local anesthetic with a needle under ultrasound guidance around the mid-thigh. You will be given a mild sedative prior to this procedure.
For both a hip or knee replacement, you will receive spinal anesthesia. This can be performed in the preoperative holding area or in the operating room. The anesthesiologist infiltrates the lower lumbar spine with local anesthetic that causes painlessness. General sedation is accomplished with intravenous medication.
There are multiple advantages to this mechanism of anesthesia compared with general anesthesia. Advantages to spinal anesthesia include the following: less pain, less blood loss, no need for endotracheal intubation, no sore throat, less nausea, and lower rates of blood clots.
The operating rooms are kept at a cold temperature so every attempt will be made to keep you warm during the surgery. This can be removed once the spinal anesthesia has worn off and you have complete sensation and movement in your legs. The area of the surgery will be shaved. A drain will be placed at your surgical site; this controls swelling and removes excess blood and fluid. This will stay in overnight and will be removed in the morning. You may have an oxygen tube in your nose. As you wake up from surgery, you will be very sleepy and will not want to breathe deeply, the tube will deliver oxygen until you are fully awake.
Joint replacement surgery takes about 60 minutes to perform. You will likely be in the operating room for approximately 90 minutes. Average time in the recovery room is 90 minutes. Your surgeon will meet your family and friends in your overnight recovery suite once the procedure is completed.
After Your Surgery When your surgery is over, you will be moved to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). The nurses will check your vital signs, dressings, and oxygen levels. They will also administer medication to make sure your pain is under control. After PACU, you will be moved to your room. You will be returned to your normal diet gradually after surgery. Your nurse will give you ice chips and then advance your diet to soda and crackers. A physical therapist will visit you in your room. You will participate in physical therapy exercises and if the spinal anesthesia has worn off, walk with assistance. There will be nurses on site to take care of you overnight. Your surgeon and your anesthesiologist are always on call to respond to medical emergencies.