FAQs For Surgical Patients
Patient care is our number one priority. Dr. Alberta and our staff are committed to making you feel comfortable about your decision to have an operation and to making sure you are prepared.
While we have tried to address some of your most frequently asked questions, we cannot anticipate your specific needs. We are always accessible to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to ask. For questions particular to your surgical procedure, please refer to the Surgical Procedures section.
Q: Do I need to get precertification?
Our office will obtain all precertification necessary. However, YOU will need to call your insurance company to check your benefits – including co-insurance, co-pays, hospital coverage and whether or not you need any additional referrals.
Q. Will I need preoperative testing?
Except in special situations, you will need preoperative testing and medical clearance. You will be given instructions by our staff on what specific testing you need and how to get it done. Some points to remember:
- Your tests must be performed within 30 days of surgery
- All clearance documents must be returned to our office no later than 2 weeks prior to surgery
If you have a history of heart problems, you may need to see a cardiologist as well.
Q: What should I do about the medications I am already taking?
Please stop all aspirin, NSAIDS, and blood thinners 2 weeks before your surgery. These include:
If you take Plavix, Coumadin, or Warfarin, YOU MUST notify this office and your primary care physician for instructions on stopping these medications.
If you take diabetic, blood pressure or heart medications, you should continue them up until the day of your surgery.
Q: What type of pain medicine will I need?
You will be given a prescription for pain medication to go home with. Please make us aware of any allergies or preferences you may have when you schedule your operation. Some procedures are more painful than others. Most prescription pain medications (e.g. Vicodin, Percocet, Tylox) have Tylenol (acetaminophen) combined with a pain killer. Therefore, you should not supplement your pain prescription with Tylenol or acetaminophen unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Alberta.
Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medicines can be used as a supplemental adjunct to your pain medicine if needed for most procedures. With certain procedures, excessive ibuprofen and/or related drugs may cause a delay in your healing. These procedures include:
- Rotator Cuff Repair
- ACL reconstruction
- Fracture repair
- Tendon repair or reconstruction
Dr. Alberta will give you specific instructions on medications and modalities for pain at the time of your operation.
Q: How do I schedule my surgery?
We have already set aside time in our schedule for your surgery. If you need to change or cancel, let us know as soon as possible. Our staff will call you and let you know what time you need to be at the hospital.
Q: What should I do on the day of my surgery?
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. You may take your blood pressure medications with a sip of water in the morning.
Leave all of your jewelry and valuables home, including wedding rings, earrings, necklaces, and watches.
If you are having shoulder or elbow surgery:
- Wear a loose fitting button down shirt. Women should wear a tank top as well.
If you are having knee surgery:
- Wear shorts or loose fitting sweat pants.
- You will go home with a cane or crutches.
Please arrange for transportation to and from the hospital. You will not be able to drive home.
Q: What type of follow-up will I have with the doctor?
Dr. Alberta will call to check in on you either the night of, or the morning after, your surgery. If you are staying overnight in the hospital, he will see you the next day.
Please make sure that you disable all anonymous call blocking from your phones. On most phones, dial *87 to turn off this feature. You can reactivate it once you have spoken to the doctor by dialing *77.
Our staff will arrange for a follow-up visit within 1-2 weeks after your surgery to have your sutures removed (if applicable). You will get an instruction sheet at the time of surgery that describes what to do with your bandages, braces, casts, etc.