(08) 9301 0101

Your Surgery

Preparing for Surgery

Questions to ask your Doctor before surgery -   AAOS Patient Information

Health Condition Checklist -   AAOS Patient Information

It is helpful to learn what to expect from the surgery. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the procedure, process and your role in it will help you recover sooner and have fewer problems. It is important to ask questions during your consultation so that you fully understand your procedure and expected outcomes.

Before surgery, your doctor will make sure you don't have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed before any major surgery.

Most hospitals/anaesthetists will conduct a pre-admission interview either in person or over the phone the day before your procedure. A brief medical history will be taken and admission and discharge details will be discussed. Please take this opportunity to discuss any concerns regarding your admission

Prior to surgery

  • Discuss any medications you are taking with your Specialist and your GP to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery

  • If you are taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, Warfarin or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, you will need to stop taking them 5-7 days before surgery to minimise bleeding – discuss this with your Specialist (Medications Safety Checklist -   AAOS Patient Information)

  • Discuss with your Specialist options for blood management prior to surgery

  • If you are overweight, it is advisable to lose weight before surgery as it will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint

  • Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron

  • If you are a smoker, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery

  • Ensure any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems are treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later

  • Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up

  • Arrange to have someone come to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry after your procedure
  • If you require a Medical Certificate for work, arrange to have one issued

Other useful links for Pre-Surgery preparation

Obesity Weight Loss and Joint Replacement Surgery -   AAOS Patient Information

Surgery and Smoking -   AAOS Patient Information


Unless otherwise instructed, you will not be allowed food or drink for at least six hours prior to your surgery. This includes NO sweets, chewing gum, breath fresheners or water. If you have any questions about fasting and the taking of medications, please discuss this with your specialist.

Admission Time

The information letter you received from the Surgeon will have the admission time and fasting time details. Usually you will also be contacted by the hospital to confirm the expected admission time and where you should check in.

Please wear clean clothes to the Hospital that are comfortable and easy to remove. Do not wear jewellery, make-up or nail varnish.

Please use the following checklist to ensure you remember to bring all the items you need to the hospital:

  • Any paperwork relating to your hospital stay not already returned to the hospital
  • PATS forms for country patients if applicable
  • Medicare card and health fund details if applicable
  • Pension health benefits card and pharmaceutical card if applicable
  • Any medications you are currently taking (in original containers)
  • All relevant x-rays/scans or test results (to be returned to you prior to your discharge)
  • Any special equipment you may require e.g. CPAP for sleep apnoea
  • Toiletries
  • Night attire, if staying overnight
  • Shoes / slippers that fit you well with a non-slip sole
  • Reading material
  • Glasses and physical aids e.g. walking sticks, hearing aids, etc.
  • Comfortable clothes to go home in.

After your procedure

After surgery, you will be closely monitored by highly experienced caregivers in the recovery room. The nurses will then arrange for your transfer to the clinical ward for overnight patients. Day procedure patients will spend approximately 2-4 hours in the second stage recovery area, where you will be closely monitored until you are ready to go home.

Going Home

You usually receive a lot of instructions just prior to leaving the Hospital. Please ensure you have discharge instructions in writing, such as a list of the medications you will need to take and post-operative wound care instructions. It is hard to remember everything. As always, ask questions if you do not understand the instructions.

  • Have a family member present to help recall what was said.

  • Take notes, and specifically find out:

    • How to care for bandages/dressings
    • When is bathing permitted
    • When it is okay to be alone in the house
    • When you can drive
    • Advice about elevation of an operated extremity, and weight bearing on a leg after surgery
    • Understand about all medicines you need. Someone will have to get prescriptions filled to you. If you have any concerns or ongoing pain, please advise your nurse.

  • Make sure you understand any signs of complications, such as infections or blood clots. Know how to quickly contact your doctor or healthcare team should you notice signs of complications.

It is important to consider any difficulties that you may face upon your return home from hospital prior to discharge. Please ensure you have a Carer to transport you home and stay with you for a minimum of 24 hours.

Post-operative appointment

A post-operative appointment with your surgeon will have been arranged for you approximately 12-14 days after your surgery. The details will be on your surgery information letter. This appointment has been made for you to have your surgery recovery assessed, wounds checked and redressed and any stitches/staples removed. The surgeon will also discuss any physiotherapy requirements.

Joondalup Health Campus

Suite 101 / 1st Floor
Joondalup Specialist Centre (West)
60 Shenton Avenue
Joondalup WA 6030

  08 9301 0102

SJOG Hospital Murdoch

Suite 66 / 4th Floor
Wexford Medical Centre
3 Barry Marshall Parade
Murdoch WA 6150

  08 9332 5006

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