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PREPARATION FOR SURGERY

General Pre-operative Instructions

SMOKING

Smoking increases the risks of many complications of surgery significantly and should be ceased 6-8 weeks prior to surgery.  This is mandatory for all non-urgent procedures.  (See LINK to Smoking and surgery)

MEDICATION

Blood Thinners

There are medications available over the counter which can cause your blood to thin and cause bleeding – some of these may seem innocuous and be sold as herbal remedies.  These should all be stopped prior to any surgery.  Any medication containing aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications should be ceased 1 week prior to surgery.  These include Aspirin, Dispirin, Aspro, Aspalgin, Cartia, Astrix, Brufen, Voltaren, Nurofen, Toradol, Naprosyn, Indocid.

Plavix, etc should be ceased 2 weeks prior to major surgery

Warfarin, Xarelto, Pradaxa need to be ceased 3 days prior to surgery.

Please note this list contains most of the common blood thinners but is not exhaustive.

For minor procedures such as small hand procedures or simple skin cancer excisions it may be OK to continue on your blood thinning medications so please consult your surgeon who will guide you.

Herbal medications

Cease ALL herbal and non-prescription medications before any surgery- major or minor. The most common herbs used are Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Echinacea, Ephedra, Kava and Valerian. They may cause interactions with anaesthetic drugs, cause bleeding and reduce wound healing after surgery.  Please note this list is most of the common herbal remedies but it is not exhaustive.

Panadol, Mobic and Celebrex are OK to continue.

Diabetics

The following is general advice only and should not be substituted for specific advice from your physician, anaesthetist or surgeon.

Non-insulin diabetics should withhold their last dose of medication prior to surgery.

Insulin dependent diabetics should take half of their last normal insulin dose prior to surgery.  Where possible you will be placed early in the operating list sequence.

Other medications

All other medications should be continued unless otherwise instructed.

Please consult your physician before ceasing any medication.

BATHING

You are encouraged to shower or bath in the usual fashion both the night before surgery and the morning of surgery paying particular attention to the area to be operated on.  This decreases the bacterial number and should prevent infection.  You should wash in the normal manner with soap and water and do not scrub the area with a scrubbing brush.

JEWELLERY

Remove all jewellery.

CLOTHING

Clothing and footwear should be loose and comfortable.

FASTING

You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before your operation.  This includes chewing gum.

It is ok to take regular medications that need to be continued with a sip of water.