Surgery Preparation

Scheduling Surgery

After you discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with Dr. Codsi, and you decide to have surgery, you will need to schedule the surgery.  This can be done in the office or at home. Azelea will give you some options to choose from based on Dr. Codsi’s surgery schedule.  He operates Wednesday and Thursday.  You will also schedule your preoperative appointment if you need one, so you can sign all of the paperwork need for surgery, get your pain medications for after surgery, and get fitted for a sling if needed.  You will then be scheduled for a postoperative  visit  10-14 days after your surgery. At this time, you will get to see any photos that were taken during surgery and you will learn the next steps in your rehab.

L&I patients

If you have an L&I injury, we must get approval from L&I before scheduling your surgery. Our office will take care of all the paperwork to get approval. The process will usually take 2 weeks.  Once we get approval, the surgery schedulers will call you at home to schedule the surgery and all of your appointments.

Preop Visit

The preop office visit is needed to make sure you are fully prepared for surgery.  First, all of your medical history and your medications will be reviewed to make sure everything is up to date.  Your blood pressure will be taken to make sure it is not too high or low. We will need to know which pharmacy you will use to get your medications so we can fax them to the correct one.  Dr. Codsi or his physician assistant will review the procedure with you and ask you to sign a consent form that spells out the most common risks of the surgery.  You will be given prescriptions for your pain medications at this visit so you can get them filled at the pharmacy before your surgery. We give them to you early for your convenience so you are not waiting in a pharmacy after your surgery, and we trust that you will not use them until after your surgery. Finally, you will be fitted for a sling if you will need one after surgery.  Take the sling home and wear it for a few hours so you know what it will be like to eat, go to the bathroom, prepare a meal and sleep while the arm is immobilized in the sling.  Most importantly, do not forget to bring the sling to surgery so we can use it after the surgery.

2 Days Before Surgery

A surgery center nurse will call you at home two business days before your surgery. The nurse will review your medical history, medications and allergies with you. You will be given instructions about which medications you should continue and which ones you should not take the day of surgery.
The nurse will also tell you when to stop eating before your surgery. You will not be allowed to chew gum, breath mints or tobacco the day of surgery.

1 Day Before Surgery

Make sure you have picked up the prescriptions from the pharmacy that your doctor wrote for you.

You will need to arrange for a ride to the surgery center and back home. Someone will need to stay with you overnight to make sure you are safe from any complications.

Make sure you have stocked your home with food for the next week that is easy to prepare and eat while your arm is in a sling.

Day of Surgery

Follow the preop nurses instructions for when to stop eating or drinking before your surgery. If you do not follow these instructions exactly, your surgery will be cancelled because of the high risk of aspirating something from your stomach into your lungs during surgery.  When you arrive to the surgery center, check in at the front desk and then take a seat in the waiting room. One of the nurses will call your name when it is time to get ready.  You will change into a gown and wear this over your underwear.  You will get an IV and your vitals will be taken.  The nurse will ask you many repetitive questions again to make sure we are doing the correct operation in the correct location. If you are scheduled for a nerve block, you will be taken to a special area where the nurse and anesthesia provider will give you the nerve block.  Dr. Codsi will see you in this area and mark your surgical site next to the initials that you wrote on your skin.  Then you will be taken back to the operating room.

Most surgeries run on time, but it is not uncommon for your surgery to be delayed.  Please remember that we cannot always predict the time it will take to perform a surgery.  Every patient is different, and Dr. Codsi will never cut corners in order to keep the schedule on time.  We do the best we can to predict accurate schedules.  We appreciate your understanding and patience during this stressful waiting period.

After your surgery, you will recover in a private area until you wake up.  The nurse will help you get dressed and put on a sling if needed.  Then you will be moved to another area where you will meet your family.  You will have something to eat and drink and recover until you are safe to go home.

If you are having surgery in a hospital, you will recover by yourself in the recovery room.  When you are alert and your vital signs are stable, you will go up to your hospital room where you will see your family.

What to Bring and Wear

Shower the morning of surgery. Dry your hair thoroughly, but do not use hair-styling products, makeup, nail polish, lotions, deodorants or perfume.

Take any medications you were instructed to take by your physician or the Pre-Op Clinic nurse with only a sip of water.

Do not wear any jewelry, including rings and piercings. Jewelry is not allowed in our operating room for safety reasons, and we cannot be responsible for it. Jewelry too tight to remove may be cut off.

Do not bring electronics, valuables or items beyond a few comfortable clothes.

Dentures, glasses and/or contact lenses must be removed prior to your procedure; bring a container for storage.

Wear loose fitting, warm, comfortable clothing and shoes that are easy to get on and off. No flip-flops, please. Wear a loose t shirt that is easy to get on and off.  Do not wear jeans or any tight fitting pants. Sweat pants or anything that you can pull up with one hand is recommended.

Bring any special medical equipment that you use, such as crutches, walker, etc.

If you have sleep apnea and have a CPAP, bring the mask with you.

If you have an advance directive, bring a copy with you.

Include a map of the surgery center.

Return to work

Returning to work will depend on a lot of factors including the type of surgery you have, the tasks you need to perform at work, and the amount of pain medications you need after surgery.  In general, if your pain is well controlled, you can return to a light duty job within a week or two after your surgery. You will have to follow all the precautions that Dr. Codsi gives to you while you are working.  If you need to return to work early, try to limit your hours the first week or two so you do not push yourself too much.  It is better to overestimate your time off work and make arrangements with your job prior to surgery.  You do not want to compromise your surgery results just because your job cannot live without you for a few days.