Surgery at Pottstown Hospital Info

INFORMATION FOR

BEFORE SURGERY, DAY OF SURGERY, AND AFTER SURGERY

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LOCATION:

SURGERY PERFORMED AT POTTSTOWN HOSPITAL

CONTACT INFORMATION:

For medical questions, insurance issues, scheduling, and other concerns, call The Pennsylvania Hand Center: 610-525-1000 and select option 3 (Clinic)

 The phone number for Pottstown Hospital 610-327-7507

BEFORE SURGERY:

 Prior to surgery, you will need a History and Physical Exam completed by your primary care physician. You should have the physician fax the results to Pottstown at 610-970-3183, and bring a copy with you to your surgery.

 You will also receive an appointment for Pre-Admission Testing. Depending on criteria developed by the hospital, this will be either a telephone appointment or a visit to the hospital for labwork and EKG testing. Your time to report for surgey is given at this appointment.

 Some insurance companies do not cover outpatient surgery. Be sure to check with your insurance company ahead of time. You must bring any needed insurance information, including referrals, with you to the hospital.

 Medications may increase bleeding. Check with your personal physician about stopping prescription blood thinners. Please stop Aspirin, Fish Oil and Vit. E 10 days prior to surgery and Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil and Naproxen 3 days prior to surgery.

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery, otherwise your surgery may be canceled. This includes smoking, chewing tobacco, candy, and gum. Take your usual dose of medications with a sip of water on the morning of surgery. You may take your pain medication that morning also.

 A relative or friend must accompany you upon leaving the hospital. You may not drive a car or operate machinery for 24 hours following anesthesia and/or sedation. If you are under 18, a parent or guardian must be present.

 Shower with Hibiclens from the neck down prior to surgery and thoroughly clean your hands and nails to avoid infections. Wear comfortable clothes. Wear loose sleeves, since your bandages may be bulky. Do not wear or bring anything of value to the hospital.

 If you develop a cold, cough, fever, or other symptom prior to the date of the procedure, please call us or your personal physician immediately.

 If you need to cancel the procedure for any reason, please contact us immediately at the above numbers.

DAY OF SURGERY

Report to the Outpatient Pavilion at Pottstown Hospital.

 At the hospital, you will be “checked-in” by the nurses; an IV will be started and you will change your clothes. You will then meet your anesthesia provider, where final questions about anesthesia can be answered. You will also see your surgeon prior to the surgery. After surgery, you will be transported to a Recovery Room. When you are awake and stable, your escort can visit with you. The length of time you will stay in the Recovery Room is variable, usually about 60 to 90 minutes.

 If it is medically necessary for you to have a longer hospital stay, you will be informed as soon as the decision is made.

AFTER SURGERY

Some pain is normal following surgery and trauma. Itching is also normal in the process of healing. Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not wait until pain is severe to start taking this medication.

 After surgery your wound was covered with a bulky bandage and may contain a rigid splint-cast. Keep your bandages dry and clean. You may use ice packs in the surgery area, over the bandages, to help the pain and swelling.

 Keep your hand elevated above your heart to prevent swelling. Use a sling when up and about and a pillow when sitting or lying down. You should move your fingers at will, as long as you do not remove your splint.

 Do your Tendon Gliding Exercises if you have been shown how to do them previously.

 You may experience temporary numbness in your hand after surgery. This is usually due to a numbing medicine used in surgery to minimize pain; it should be essentially resolved within the next 24 hours.

 If pain and swelling persist you should loosen the dressing (first the outer layer, and then more if needed). If this does not help or you have questions, call our emergency line at 610-525-1000.

 You may not remember anything about the surgery because of the sedation/anesthesia. The details of the surgery will be discussed with you when we see you in the office in a few days. If someone accompanied you to surgery, some details were discussed with them.

 Some nausea or dizziness may occur, usually in the first 24 hours, after general anesthesia or sedation. The presence of a relative or friend at such a time is recommended. If vomiting is a problem, call your doctor. Do not drive after surgery until you are fully alert and are capable to do so.

 You may continue your regular medications immediately after surgery.

 Remember to bring your splints (if you have any) to the office at your next visit.

Wound Information: Your wound or incision is most prone to infection the first 3 to 5 days. Be sure to report any fever or chills, persistent drainage on the dressing (white or yellow fluid), foul smell in the dressing, increasing pain not relieved by the prescribed medication, increasing redness around the wound, red streaks on the skin towards your armpit, or enlarged glands or “lumps” in your armpit.

Activity Level: Minimal activity, one-handed work mostly, is allowed right away. The following will usually apply: Light Duty Work in 3 days (one-handed) and after 2 weeks with both hands. Regular Work usually in about a month from surgery.

Hand Therapy may be necessary after surgery. It will usually start at your first office visit and continue about twice a week for 2-3 months.