Even if you've seen multiple doctors, you would know more about your symptoms and health history than anyone else. Your doctors and nurses depend on you to tell them things they need to know. Tell your doctors about:
If you smoke, you need to stop. Ask your doctor or nurse for help. Smoking will slow down your healing after surgery.
Always let your doctor or nurse know about any illnesses you have before your surgery, such as a cold, the flu, a fever, or a herpes breakout.
You may not be able to have dental work for 3 months after certain surgeries (such as joint replacement or heart valve surgery). So be sure to schedule your dental work before your surgery.
Before your surgery, you will need to have a history and physical exam done.
Some hospitals will also have you visit with a nurse at the hospital before surgery.
Bring a list of medications you are taking with you every time you see a doctor or nurse. This includes medicines you bought without a prescription and medicines you do not take every day. Include information on the dose and how often you take your medicines.
Your doctors and nurses will need to know about any alternative treatments you've had. Tell them about any vitamins, supplements, minerals, or natural medicines you are taking, as well.
Two weeks before surgery, you may need to stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other drugs.
Ask your doctor which medicines you should still take on the day of your surgery.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, or any other medical problems, your surgeon will have you see the doctors who treat you for these problems. Your risk of problems after surgery will be lower if you have diabetes and other medical conditions under control before surgery.
Tell all your health care providers that you are having surgery. They may suggest a change in your medicines before your operation.
Updated by: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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