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St. Mary's Center for Orthopaedics

Pre Op Education

To help you understand and prepare for your surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital we have provided a timeline to get you ready for your upcoming surgery. Please keep in mind that everyone’s experience may differ.

What to expect before surgery:


We want to make sure that you are at your healthiest before surgery. Because of this, you may need something called a medical clearance. In this instance your surgeon will refer you to a medical specialist for an in office evaluation of a specific problem and to gain clearance for your upcoming surgery. Further workup may include laboratory tests, x rays, stress test, or pulmonary testing.


You may be asked by your medical provider to stop some of your medications, such as certain blood pressure medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, or blood thinners several days prior to your surgery. Adjustments will be done in conjunction with your Primary Care Provider or specialist as needed.

You will have two appointments before surgery:

  • An office visit for a history / physical and medication review at your surgeon’s office.
  • Preadmission testing at St. Mary’s Hospital

It is important to bring a list of medications including dose and frequency. We would also like to know any over the counter medication or vitamin supplements you are taking.

The day before surgery:

  • Please call (207) 777-8232 between the hours of 3:00PM and 5:00PM to see what time you will need to arrive to the hospital.
  • You will be provided with a special soap called Hibiclens. Please shower the night before surgery and the morning of surgery, washing from your neck to your toes with the Hibiclens. You should wash your hair and face with your normal soap.
  • It is important to know, we ask that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day of surgery. This does not apply to medications. You will be instructed which medications you can take with a small sip of water the morning of surgery.
  • Please make sure that you remove all nail polish and jewelry before coming to the hospital.

When you arrive to the hospital:

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. All clothes, nail polish, and jewelry will need to be removed prior to entering the Operating Room. A nurse will ask you questions pertaining to your surgery, take your vital signs, and insert an intravenous line to start fluids to prevent dehydration.

The intravenous line will be placed in your hand or arm. If you are a women of child bearing age, you will be asked to provide a urine sample for a pregnancy test.

Your surgeon will review your surgical site with you and mark the surgical area. This is a safety measure to ensure and confirm where on your body the surgery will be performed. You will then meet with an anesthesiologist to discuss the type of anesthesia you will receive during your surgery.


After you meet with your Anesthesiologist, a nurse will take you into the operating room. You will be prepped for surgery. The Anesthesiologist will meet you in the operating room to begin administration of anesthesia and monitoring of your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen. When surgery is completed you will be moved to our Postoperative Care Unit (PACU).


Upon arrival to the PACU you will begin gradually waking up from your anesthesia. Once you are fully awake a light snack and drink will be provided. Your surgeon will speak with you and your support person about the surgical findings and expected recovery process.

Postoperative Physical Therapy:

Recovery is an active process. You will begin working with a physical therapist soon after your surgery.

Physical Therapy is an important part of your recovery that will help you get back to your normal activities as soon as possible. You will have a date and time for a physical therapy appointment before you leave the hospital.

Postoperative Pain Management:

In the hospital, you will begin getting pain medication immediately following your surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with a prescription for pain medication to go home with. This will need to be filled at your pharmacy of choice. Depending on your recovery you will transition from your prescribed pain medication to an over the counter pain reliever.

Your follow up appointments will be provided before you leave the hospital.