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How do I decide I need surgery?

The decision to have surgery or an injection is yours and should not be made in a rush. This decision should only be made after discussion with your surgeon and only once you are satisfied with the information you have received and when you believe you have been well informed. It is important to keep in mind that your surgeon cannot guarantee that the surgery or injection will meet all your expectations or that the surgery has no risks.

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Preparing for your surgery

You may be sent a health questionnaire by the hospital to fill in and return before your admission. This is very important as it will enable us to understand whether we need to do any special tests on you. You may also be asked to come in for some tests on advance such as:

  1. A chest x-ray
  2. An ECG
  3. Blood tests
  4. A full health assessment

Please made sure you inform Mr Bajekal if:

  1. You have diabetes or any allergies
  2. You take Warfarin, Aspirin, or any other blood thinning drug as you may need to stop taking this prior to your operation
  3. You have been in to any other hospital in the 6 months preceeding this procedure
  4. You are having medical or alternative treatments
  5. You will not have anyone at home to help you after your discharge from hospital

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How long before my procedure should I stop eating and drinking?

If you are having a general anaesthetic, you must eat nothing for 6 hours before your operation. You can have water only up until 2 hours before.

This applies to patients having sedation for an injection too as the risks are the same.

You must not chew gum before the procedure as this can stimulate the stomach to produce more acid.

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What happens when I arrive at the hospital for my operation?

You will usually be admitted on the day of your operation.

A nurse will show you around your room and explain what will happen during your stay.

You must remove all jewellery, makeup, nail varnish, contact lenses or glasses, dentures, dental plates and hearing aids. You should lock away any valuables.

He/she will check your blood pressure, pulse and temperature.

A nurse will measure you for support stockings, which are put on just before the operation to minimise the risk of thrombosis (blood clots).

You will also receive a patient wristband with your details on.

You may need to have some more tests including x-rays, ECG and blood tests shortly after admission.

If you have not completed the health questionnaire or had a health assessment before your arrival in hospital, you will be asked questions about your lifestyle and relevant medical conditions.

Your anaesthetist will see you to discuss your anaesthetic and pain relief after the operation.

Mr Bajekal will ask you to sign a consent form to confirm that you understand the procedure and agree to go ahead with it if you have not already done so.

Please do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have about the operation.

The Physiotherapist will spend time with you and plan your post-operative physio therapy treatment. He/she will teach you bed exercises as well as how to get in and out of bed safelyif this is relevant to the procedure you are having.

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Will I be in pain after my operation?

Good pain relief is important and some people need more pain relief than others.

It is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets bad.

Pain relief can be increased, given more often, or given in different combinations.

Please ask help from the nurses on the ward if you are in any discomfort.

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When will I be discharged from hospital?

Mr Bajekal will advise you approximately how long you can expect to stay in hospital, this will be confirmed after your operation.

Please make arrangements for a friend or family member to take you home.

If you are having day surgery it is recommended that you have a responsible adult with you for the first 24 hours following surgery. You must not drive after sedation for 24 hours.

If there is no one available to be with you during this time it is recommended that you stay in hospital overnight. You will be given medications and painkillers to take with you.

You will be given advice and information by the physiotherapists on the exercises and the 'do's and don'ts'.

A letter will be sent to your GP (with your consent) explaining your operation and treatment.

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Tips to make your homecoming more comfortable following surgery:

Securely fasten electrical cords around the perimeter of the room. Rearrange furniture so you can maneuver with a walker or crutches. Remove any throw or area rugs that could cause you to slip. Temporarily change rooms to avoid using stairs ie. make the living room your bedroom (mainly for patient’s having joint replacement surgery).

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Are there complications to having surgery?

All surgical procedures have risks, despite the highest standards of practice. While every attempt is made to minimise risks, complications can occur that may have permanent effects.

Please ask questions if you are unsure or need more clarification as it’s important that you have enough information to fully weigh up the benefits and risks of surgery.

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How soon can I drive/ fly after my operation?

It is recommended that you do not drive or operate heavy machinery within the first 72 hours following your surgery. You will be given more specific guidelines depending on the type of surgery you had.

Mr Bajekal will review your progress 7-10 days after your discharge from hospital and discuss these issues in more detail with you.

It may be in your interests to inform your motor vehicle insurance company that you are resuming driving after your operation, once you have been cleared by Mr Bajekal to start driving again.

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General risks of surgery include:

Allergies to anaesthetic agents, antiseptic solutions, suture materials or dressings
Pain and discomfort around the incisions
Nausea, typically from the anaesthetic, this usually settles down quickly
Heavy bleeding from the incisions
Separation of wound edges
Slow healing - most likely to occur in smokers and people with diabetes
Wound infections

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How much will it cost?

You should discuss costs before treatment rather than afterwards.

If you are insured the procedure codes will be provided to you and we ask that you check with your health insurance that your treatment and hospital stay as well as any other medical costs that you may incur will be covered.

An estimate of the surgical, anaesthetic and hospital fees will be provided to you if you are a self pay patient.

If further treatment is needed due to complications or you choose other options, extra costs are likely to apply.

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Please view the links below for the complications section for your specific surgery

  1. Hip Replacement
  2. Knee Replacement
  3. Knee arthroscopy
  4. Diskectomy
  5. Spinal decompression
  6. Nerve root block/epidural

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