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Hand, Wrist, Elbow, Shoulder Specialist at 4 locations in Framingham, Milford, Concord, Westford, MA

Preparing for Surgery

What to Expect

Undergoing a surgical procedure can be a stressful experience for many patients. The staff at New England Hand Associates can provide you the tools you'll need to feel at ease with your upcoming procedure. The following is a brief timeline to help you understand and prepare for each part of your surgical experience.

Before Your Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery you are having, you may go home the same day or be admitted.

If you have a history of medical issues - even if you are scheduled to go home the day of surgery - your surgeon may request pre-operative testing, such as an EKG, chest x-ray, or cardiac stress test.

You may be instructed to stop taking certain medications (such as blood thinners like Plavix or Coumadin) before your surgery. It is important for you to bring a list (or a bag of pill bottles) of all your medications to your appointment, including vitamins, over-the-counter medications, and nutritional supplements. 

The Morning of Surgery / Anesthesia

On the morning of your surgery, you will arrive several hours before your procedure is scheduled to begin. During this time, you will be asked to remove all jewelry (although we advise you to leave any valuables at home) and change into a hospital gown. A nurse will start an intravenous line. Next, your surgeon or one of their assisting physicians will speak with you and mark your surgical site. You will also meet your anesthesiologist , who will discuss the type of anesthesia you will receive (general or regional).

  • General anesthesia involves being put to sleep with medications that are given to you through your intravenous line. You will remain completely asleep and comfortable until the surgery is complete.
  • Regional anesthesia involves an injection that blocks the nerves going to the area involved in your procedure. You will be comfortably sedated before the injection and, depending on your preference, can be either lightly or heavily sedated for surgery. You will feel no pain during surgery.

During Surgery

After your consultation with the anesthesiologist, you will be taken to the operating room. Once there, your anesthesiologist will put on standard monitors, such as a blood pressure cuff and EKG leads, and will begin giving you sedative medication. Next, the surgery will begin. When the surgery is complete, your surgeon will speak with your family and you will be taken to the recovery area.

After Surgery

Once the anesthesia starts to wear off, your doctor or someone from his or her team will come by and speak with you about the surgery and follow-up plan. You will receive detailed instructions for going home and a prescription for pain medication, or you will be transported to a hospital room if you are staying overnight.