Preparing for Surgery and Procedure

Preparing for Surgery and Procedure

Preparing For Your Operation With Our Colorado Neurosurgeons

  • Arrangements Before Surgery

    If your surgery includes an overnight stay in the hospital, please leave your suitcase/bag in your car on the day of surgery. After your stay in the recovery room, you will be assigned a room and the person(s) who accompany you can bring your belongings to your room.

    If you are planning to go home on the same day of surgery, and you receive general anesthesia or any form of sedation or intravenous medication, you MUST have someone to help you get home after your operation. Make arrangements for a friend or relative to drive you home on the day of your operation. We also recommend that you have a responsible adult to stay with you for the first 24 hours as you may be dizzy, lightheaded, and sleepy during the first day.

    During your operation, your family can wait in a surgical waiting room in any of our facilities. If your family is unable to stay, you will be able to call them after your procedure. Your family can then meet you in the recovery area when you are ready for discharge.

    Your time in the recovery room is variable, but usually, it will take 1-2 hours. Your recovery room nurse will contact your loved ones in the surgery waiting room to give them an update on your progress.

    You will need to see your Primary Care Physician (PCP) approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your procedure. This appointment with your PCP should include an exam, review of medications, labs, and an EKG. We will need a note from your PCP clearing you for surgery.

  • Pre-Op Instructions
    • Do not bring credit cards, large amounts of money, or other valuables with you the day of your operation. Bring your co-pay if required. You may need to have some money with you for prescriptions. The person accompanying you can hold it.
    • Select comfortable clothing to wear to the hospital.
    • If you wear glasses, contacts, dentures or a hearing aid, bring along a case to put them in during surgery.
    • Remove all jewelry prior to surgery. If you are unable to remove rings, have them removed by a jeweler prior to your surgery.
    • Please shower before coming to the hospital, shampoo your hair and brush your teeth. Do not swallow the water when you brush your teeth.
    • Do not apply lotions, perfume or makeup. Nail polish and artificial nails are OK.
    • If you smoke, stop or at least reduce your smoking. It is imperative that smoking is stopped at least two weeks, preferably six to eight weeks, prior to surgery and at least three months following surgery. Smoking, especially nicotine, will significantly increase the failure rate of bone fusion.
    • Eat a light supper the day before your operation and do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours before surgery.
    • Have nothing to eat for at least 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery time. Solids include things like milkshakes, protein drinks and anything that has particulate matter in it. This includes gum, candy, water, coffee, or food of any kind. You may have clear liquids (water, clear juices, clear soda, black coffee or tea without milk or cream) up to 4 hours before your surgery time. If you consume food less than 8 hours and liquids less than 4 hours prior to surgery, you can put yourself in danger and that may result in cancellation of your surgery. If your anesthesiologist calls you the night before your surgery and gives you instructions other than these, their instructions should be followed.
  • Medications Before Surgery

    Medications That Increase Bleeding or May Interfere with Anesthesia
    Some medications impair the body’s ability to form a clot and stop bleeding. Obviously, failure to normally form a clot is undesirable around the time of surgery.

    ASPIRIN: Ideally, aspirin should be discontinued a minimum of 7 (preferably 10) days prior to elective surgery. This advice includes products containing aspirin, like Percodan™.

    Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Non-selective COX inhibitors (NSAIDs, e.g. ibuprofen, ketoprofen, Advil, Motrin, many others) should be discontinued a minimum of 5 (preferably 7) days before elective surgery. Selective COX inhibitors (COX-2 inhibitors, like Vioxx and Celebrex) CAN be continued. If you have a question about your painkiller, ask your surgeon.

    Vitamins, Supplements, Herbals: Many herbal medications and supplements may increase bleeding and/or interact with medications used for anesthesia. In many cases, the exact composition of herbal supplements and the potential interactions are unknown. Specific recommendations cannot be given. Therefore, DO NOT TAKE these medications for a minimum of 7 days prior to surgery.

    Medications You May Take Before Surgery:

    • Cardiac medications (for the heart)
    • Anti-reflux medications (Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix)
    • Seizure medications (anti-convulsants)
    • Anti-hypertensives (blood pressure medications)
    • Bronchodilators (inhalers and medications for the lungs)
    • Birth control pills
    • Steroids (prednisone)
    • Immunosuppressants
    • Thyroid replacement (Synthroid)
    • Anti-Parkinson medications
    • COX-2 antagonists (Vioxx, Celebrex)
    • Opiates (without aspirin; Tylenol #3, Vicodin, fentanyl, etc.)

    Do Not Take These Medications Before Surgery:

    • Chewable antacids (TUMS, Rolaids, etc.)
    • Diuretics (water pills, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide)
    • Insulin
    • Oral hypoglycemics (Glucophage, Avandia, Actos, DiaBeta, Micronase, Glucotrol, Amaryl)
    • Aspirin (and aspirin-containing compounds)
    • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Mobic, Orudis, etc.)
    • Potassium
    • Weight reduction agents
    • Vitamins
    • Herbs and supplements
    • Blood Thinners (Warfarin, Coumadin, Plavix, Lovenox, Heparin) – stop only under the care and instruction of your physician
  • Forms and Paperwork

    Disability, FMLA, Social Security Disability, Worker’s Compensation, narratives, work return/restrictions and other paperwork should be discussed and completed prior to surgery. In order to ensure that your paperwork is completed, you will need to make a meeting appointment.

    FMLA forms that are not related to a surgery require an appointment with your doctor in order to review the claim.

    If you have had surgery and will need FMLA forms completed for short-term disability, please speak directly with Stephen Ladd. Our office will only be able to complete forms for a maximum of three months leave following surgery.

    Usually, patients will take 6-12 weeks minimum FMLA or “off work” status to allow for recovery time. This is per individual and dependent upon his/her employer.

    We are not able to complete claims for Social Security disability. Our office is able to send medical records to the Social Security Administration upon request.

    We will provide your attorney with copies of requested medical records only if we receive a HIPAA-compliant, a signed release of information form accompanied by payment of our fee.

    Dr. Brent Kimball is not able to prepare questionnaires, statements, or letters for attorneys. If necessary, kindly schedule a fee-paid appointment in person or by phone.

    These forms are time-consuming to prepare and require appropriate planning for completion.

    These forms are the responsibility of you and your employer.
    Preparation of these forms may be subject to out-of-pocket fees that are not covered by your insurance.

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