Orthopedic Surgery Procedure, What To Expect

Before your orthopedic surgery or procedure

Your surgery/procedure will be scheduled in conjunction with your physician’s office. They will provide you with preliminary education about your surgery and the recovery phase and provide you with a date for your surgery/procedure. A nurse from ACES Premier Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine will contact you about arrival time and necessary paperwork and will give you the pre-op instructions. Some helpful tips are:

  • You will be required to fast for a certain amount of time prior to surgery; the length of time will depend on your procedure and other factors.
  • Check with your doctor to determine if a new medication regimen should be instituted before your operation.
  • Pack lightly — toiletries and loose, comfortable clothing are suggested. If the patient requires additional personal belongings, friends and family member may bring items to the recovery room. However, ancillary personal belongings and valuables should be left at home.

Pre-procedure phone call

A nurse from Premier Orthopaedics Surgery Center will contact you 3-4 days before your scheduled surgery/procedure to obtain your medical history. You will need to have a list of your current medications and dosage to give to the nurse, who will tell you how to adjust your medications prior to your surgery. Do not bring your medications with you unless you are directed to by the nurse. You will also need a list of your previous surgeries.

The nurse will also inform you of the latest time you may eat or drink before your surgery/procedure. You may shower or bathe the morning before your surgery. Once the nurse has completed the assessment, you will speak to someone in the business office, who will verify your home address and insurance information. You will be told if you are responsible for a co-payment.

The day of your surgery/procedure

Please bring the following items with you to the Surgery Center:

  • Insurance card(s)
  • Driver’s license or photo ID
  • Co-payment (if you were told you are responsible for one)
  • Eyeglasses and/or contacts, contact case, if applicable
  • Hearing aid, if applicable
  • Denture case, if applicable

A responsible adult needs to drive you home after your surgery/procedure. It is important that you wear loose fitting clothes. Do not bring jewelry and other valuables.

Pre-op at the surgery center

After you sign in and complete the registration process, a pre-op nurse will bring you to the pre-op area (your family may remain in the waiting area at this time). You will be asked more questions by the nurse, anesthesiologist, and your physician, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions at this time. We’ll take you on a patient stretcher to the operating room suite where your surgery/procedure will be performed.

Post-op area (after surgery):

The length of time you spend in the post-op area depends on the type of anesthesia you received and how you react to it. Most patients recover in approximately one hour. Our nurses will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level while you recover from anesthesia. The nurse will check your bandage periodically for drainage if applicable and there also could be an ice pack placed over the bandage. If necessary, you may receive oxygen through a clear plastic tube in your nose. You may experience blurred vision, a dry mouth, chills, or nausea from the anesthesia—these are common side effects. If you have any pain or nausea, these can be well controlled with medication; if you have no nausea, you will be given juice or a soda to drink.


Once you have recovered, the responsible adult who accompanied you will be allowed in the post-op area. The post-op nurse will review your discharge instructions with you both and you will receive a copy to take home. After all questions have been answered, a nurse will discharge you by wheelchair or by walking you to your vehicle.