What to Expect – FAQ’s

Surgery Time

When will I find out my surgical time?

Do NOT eat or drink anything after midnight prior to your surgical date.

The hospital will call you between 4pm and 5pm the day before your surgery to notify you of your surgical time.

If you do not receive a call you can call the hospital directly.

  • Orthopedic Center Savannah (912) 644-5300
  • Coastal Carolina Hospital  (843) 784-8000
  • St. Joseph Hospital (912) 819-4100

If unable to reach anyone, please call or email us – 843.705.9401

Please make sure that the we have all phone numbers that you use so that we may reach you.

Before Your Surgery

What should I do to prepare for my surgery?

  • Arrange for a family member or friend to accompany you to the hospital the day of your surgery.
  • Plan ahead for transportation home or to the hotel the day of your planned discharge.
  • Remember to adjust your work/social schedule accordingly during your anticipated recovery time.
  • While taking narcotic pain medication, you will not be permitted to drive. You may need to arrange for transportation to your initial follow-up visit.
  • Unless told otherwise, you will need to have a follow-up visit 7-14 days after surgery with Dr. Sutherland for suture removal.  You should receive that appointment at your pre-op date.

What should I bring with me the day of surgery?

  • Photo ID
  • Insurance Card
  • Friend or family member who will be available the entire time and take you home after surgery
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing
  • Shoulder surgery: zip-up or button down shirt
  • Knee surgery: loose fitting pants or shorts

**Leave jewelry, money and valuables at home.

Medications to Stop Before Surgery

14 days before surgery, you need to stop:

  • Any Narcotic (e.g., Vicodin, Norco, Darvocet, Percocet or Oxycontin)
  • Aspirin-like products (“blood thinners”) e.g., Ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin (Except Celebrex)

7 – 10 days before, you need to stop:

  • Plavix / Coumadin / Warfarin: Please consult with your internist
  • Any medications as per your internist
  • Aspirin 81mg

You can continue to take:

  • Tylenol
  • Celebrex
  • Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Daily Vitamins

On the morning of surgery:

Take only medications that are for your heart (hypertension, arrhythmias, etc.)

If you use an inhaler, please bring it with you

If you are taking diabetic medications, you should check with your internist to determine if you should take these medications on the morning of surgery

If you are taking any other medications that are not listed, please consult with your internist prior to surgery to determine if you should continue taking the medication or to see when you should stop and resume the medication.

Post operative care:

Post operative appointment should be given to you at your pre operative appointment, if you do not know when this is after surgery call Sara.

Post operative instructions should be given to you after your surgery please follow them unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Sutherland.

Post Medications

Primary Medication = (Hydrocodone), Vicodin, Norco, Lortab or (Oxycodone) Percocet

  • Take 1 – 2 tablets every 4 – 6 hours as needed
  • Max of 12 pills per day
  • Plan on using it for 2 to 5 days, depending on level of pain
  • DO NOT take additional Tylenol (Acetaminophen) while taking Norco or Vicodin

For pain in between doses of Norco/Vicodin, take 2 – 3 (200mg tabs) of Ibuprofen, Advil or Motrin (every 4 – 6 hours)

Side Effects of Pain Medication

  • Constipation: Take whatever works for you
  • Prune juice
  • Senekot
  • Colace or Periocolace
  • Miralax
  • Nausea: Take prescribed Zofran / Phenergan as needed

For surgeries of larger magnitude, some patients will be prescribed Oxycontin (10mg)

  • Take one tablet every 12 hours as needed for pain
  • If given Oxycontin, Hydrocondone or Oxycodone will be used for pain in between doses (1 – 2 tablets every 4 – 6 hours as needed)

Physical Therapy:

Therapy after your operation is very important and should begin 7-10 days after your sugery. Also, after your surgery takes place you should receive a list of exercises to do at home while you are waiting for your post operative appointment.

Links to rehab Facilities

George Sutherland MD