Preparing for surgery
We understand that surgery can be stressful. You might not know what you need to do. That’s why Nevada Health Solutions (NHS), our care management team, is here for you. NHS will help you get ready for your surgery. You’ll also need prior authorization before surgery. NHS will handle that, too.
Things to think about before your surgery
We want to help you plan for your surgery and recovery. Before your surgery:
- Make a list of the medicines you’re taking. Be sure to put how much of each medicine you take and how often you take it.
- Show that list to everyone taking care of you, such as: nurses and doctors in offices, surgery centers, and hospitals.
- Tell your surgeon about:
- the prescribed and over-the-counter medicines you take.
- any other doctors you see regularly, such as: a cardiologist for heart failure, a pulmonologist for lung disease, an oncologist for cancer, a rheumatologist for joint problems, etc…
- any medicines you take which reduce your ability to fight infection or affect your immune system.
- any bad reactions you’ve had to anesthetics or any bleeding problems.
- if you use a home CPAP machine for sleep apnea.
- Ask your surgeon if you should stop taking:
- Blood thinners
- Ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil)
- Naproxen (such as Aleve)
- Tell your primary care physician (sometimes called a PCP) or any other doctors you see regularly about your surgery, including medical specialists. Be sure to include:
- The surgeon’s name
- The procedure you’re having
- Why it’s being done
- When your surgery is and
- Where you’re having surgery
- Call your surgeon’s office if you get sick, or have a cold or fever. Your surgery may be rescheduled to give you time to feel better.
- Make sure you have someone to take you home after surgery. You won’t be able to drive.
- Ask someone to stay with you during the first 24 hours that you’re home.
- Think about these things:
- Do you have to use stairs to get into your home?
- Do you have stairs inside your home?
- Will you need to stay with family or friends after your surgery?
Do you need to use your Loss of Time (LOT) benefit?
You may have to take some time off work after surgery. You have a Loss of Time (LOT) benefit that pays you for some of the hours you’ll miss. You can pick up an LOT formDownload PDF from the Culinary Health Fund Customer Service office.
In the hospital
- If you have outpatient surgery you’ll be able to go home the same day.
- If you have to stay in the hospital for one or more nights, Nevada Health Solutions will work with you and your doctors to make sure your needs are taken care of. An NHS care team member may visit you after your surgery to see how you’re doing.
- Do what your doctor or other healthcare staff tell you to do. This will help you heal faster.
- Write down any questions you have or draw pictures of what you want to remember to ask.
- If you don’t understand something, you have the right to ask more questions.
- If you speak another language, ask the hospital staff for an interpreter.
- Talk to your surgeon or nurse about any concerns you have about going home.
- Make sure you understand what new medicine you will start taking and what medicine you will continue to take, change a dose, or stop taking.
- Ask questions if you’re unsure. Get the answers in writing.
- If you speak another language, ask the hospital staff for an interpreter to explain your discharge instructions.
- Ask about recommendations for wound care, activity, eating and drinking.
- Make sure you know when and where your follow-up appointments are.
- If you will be visited by a home health agency, ask when that may happen so you can be ready.
- Keep all of the discharge paperwork given to you by the hospital so that you can look at it later.
In the first 24 hours after your surgery:
- Don’t drive a car.
- Don’t operate dangerous machinery.
- Don’t do any important business.
Call your doctor right away if your wound:
- Looks red
- Call your doctor right away if you have a fever.