On the day of your surgery, please follow the fasting guidelines that you were given at your pre-operative assessment or in the letter from our Admissions team.
Please have a bath or shower before you arrive at the hospital. We need you to keep the operation site as clean as possible to reduce the risk of infection. It’s also important that you don’t apply creams or make up after your bath or shower. If you shave your legs, please do not shave for at least three weeks before the operation. Shaving is known to increase infection rates in joint replacement unless it’s done immediately before the operation. As it’s not known whether hair removal creams increase infection risk, it’s best to avoid using these as well.
When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll be met by one of our team of nurses, who will show you to your room and complete any final paperwork. You can bring a friend or relative with you and it’s also a good idea to bring something to read as you may have to wait for a while until it’s your turn on the operating list.
You can wear spectacles, dentures and hearing aids until you’re in the anaesthetic room.
Your consultant and anaesthetist will come and see you. The consultant will mark the operation site with a pen on your leg and give you a special sock to wear to help reduce the chances of a blood clot forming after your operation. You’ll also have a chance to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. At this point you will be asked to confirm your consent forms.
All surgery carries some risks. In most cases, complications can be prevented or easily treated by taking the right precautions and prompt action when necessary. However, it’s important to discuss any likely complications with your surgeon and anaesthetist before your procedure, especially if you have a pre-existing existing medical condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes. You’ll be asked to sign a form consenting to your surgery before the procedure.
There will be some final checks before your surgery. If your temperature is low you may be warmed, using blankets, as this has been shown to minimise the risk of infection. Occasionally delays in theatre or unexpected changes to the operating list may mean you have to wait longer than anticipated. If this happens you may be offered a drink, after discussion with your anaesthetic team.
Once you’re ready, you’ll be taken into the operating theatre where your medical team will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing during surgery. Some people need to have a blood transfusion to replace blood they have lost during the operation.
The procedure usually lasts 1-2 hours.