The Louisiana Hand and Elbow Center The Louisiana Hand and Elbow Center : 985-625-2200 Your Practice Online
Hand Specialist, Thibodaux Louisiana

Preparing for Surgery & Procedure

:: Preparing for Surgery

Once you and your doctor decide that surgery will help you, you'll need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.

Working with Your Doctor

Before surgery, your doctor will give you a complete physical examination to make sure you don't have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.

Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.

Discuss with your doctor options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery.

If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery.

If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications or warfarin or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimise bleeding.

If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.

Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.

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

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

Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.

Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won't have to reach and bend as often.

Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.

Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.

:: Preparing for Procedure

If you are having day surgery, remember the following:

Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.

Do Not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home.

The combination of anaesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.

If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand or elbow), keep that extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.

Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty controlling the pain.

Pre-operative Instructions

For Surgery under General, Regional or Standby Anesthesia

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery.

Please bring all of your medications with you on the day of surgery. Make a list of all medications & the time normally taken with you.

Medications that need to be stopped prior to surgery:

  • Blood Thinners:  (Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid, Persantine, Lovenox)

These medications usually need to be stopped 3-7 days before surgery.  Please notify Dr. Hildenbrand’s assistant if you are taking one of these medications, for further instructions on when to stop.  Do not stop these medications without clearance to do so.  If you are taking Aspirin without it being prescribed by a physician, you may stop this medication without obtaining a clearance to do so.

  • Anti-Inflammatory and Arthritis Medications:  Ibuprofen (advil, motrin), Naprosyn (aleve, naproxen), Diclofenac (Arthrotec, Voltaren), Etoldolac (Lodine), Nabumetone (Relafen), Indocin, Daypro, Feldene, Kineret, Mobic, Celebrex Methotrexate, Enbrel, Remicade, Humira, Imuran, Plaquenil.  These medications need to be stopped 7 days before surgery.
  • Herbal & Diet Medications: Glucosamine and Chondroitin, Vitamin B6, Echinacea, Fish Oil, Ginseng, Melatonin, Garlic need to be stopped 2 weeks before surgery.
  • Multi-Vitamins and Vitamin E need to be stopped 7 days prior to surgery.

Do not take these on the day of surgery:

  • Insulin: Please bring your insulin bottles with you
  • Diabetic Medications-tablets: Glucophage, Glucovance, Glucotol, Glyuride, Glipizide, Avandia, Actos, Amaryl, Starlix, Prandin
  • Diuretics: Lasix, Hydroclorothiazide (HCTZ), blood pressure medications containing a diuretic
  • Liquid Antacids: Maalox, Mylanta


The following medications may still be taken on the day of surgery with a small sip of water:

  • Seizure Medications
  • Heart Medications
  • Blood Pressure Medications
  • Medications for gastric (stomach) acid problems: Prevacid, Nexium, Tagament, Zantac, Axid, Pepcid, Prilosec
  • Steroids: Prednisone
  • Antihistamines: hay fever or allergy medications
  • Asthma Medications & Inhalers: Take as normal but also bring with you
  • Thyroid Medications
  • Pain Medications: Tylenol, Narcotics (May be taken up to 4 hours before surgery)

Notify Dr. Hildenbrand’s assisstant if you have any of the following:

  • Anesthetic Complications: Malignant hyperthermia including severe increases in heart rate or blood pressure, or high temperature with anesthesia
  • Heart Problems: Pacemaker, Implanted defibrillator, Congestive heart failure, Irregular heartbeat, Heart attack, Bypass surgery, etc.
  • Severe Asthma
  • Latex Allergy
  • Health abnormalities that may cancel surgery
  • Rash, infection, or scratches on the operative hand
  • Flu, Fever, or severe cold within 24-48 hours prior to surgery


Contact Kim Boudreaux (Dr. Hildenbrand’s Medical Assistant) with any medication questions prior to surgery
(985) 625-2200, EXT 3204.

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