Before Your Surgery

Dr Oscar Brumby-Rendell | ASULC | Adelaide Shoulder & Upper Limb Clinic

It is expected that you will lose some blood during your procedure. In some cases, blood loss may be large, and blood or fluid replacement may be needed. Before surgery, discuss potential blood loss treatment options with your doctors.

You should cease consuming blood-thinning medicines (including aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)) 7 days before your surgery. This decreases the risk of extensive blood loss.

Post-surgery, you may be required to elevate your limb(s) or rest in bed. It is important that you organise for someone to assist you with daily activities such as laundry, cooking and shopping. Before your surgery, place frequently used items within reach of your chosen resting spot to avoid regular bending or reaching movements. To prevent falls, tape electrical cords and remove any loose carpets. Ensure you have access to a stable chair with two arms and a firm back and cushion.

Ensure your diet is healthy and balanced and consume an iron-containing daily multivitamin. Do not consume food within 6 hours or drink water within 4 hours of surgeries involving an anaesthetic.

For information regarding recommencing driving after your surgical procedure, click the following link: Driving After Surgery.

Do not consume food within 6 hours or drink water within 4 hours of your surgical procedure. For instance, if your surgery is to be conducted in the morning, do not eat after midnight or drink water after 04:00am. If you have a midday surgery, you can have breakfast at 06:00am and drink water until 08:00am.

Visit your GP or Dr Brumby-Rendell if you see signs of infection. Surgery cannot be conducted unless all infections are treated. You should not consume antibiotics until a specimen of your potential infection is analysed. Your surgery will have an increased risk of infection if you have bowel, bladder, tooth or gum conditions, and they should be treated pre-surgery.

Contact Dr Brumby-Rendell's office if you have any concerns via phone on (08) 7077 0101 or email at

Various medicines interact with others required in surgery (such as pain relief and antibiotics). Some medicines can also affect wound healing and increase blood loss. Pre-surgery, talk to your doctors about which medications you are currently consuming to see if you should stop consumption before your procedure. 7 days before your operation, you should stop consuming Methotraxate.

All surgical procedures require the skin to be cut in one or more locations. Breaching the skin brings a small infection risk until wound healing has been completed. Infection risk may increase due to various skin ulcerations and conditions surrounding the wound.

The healing of wounds and bones is affected by smoking. Reducing your smoking habits will reduce the risk of post-surgery complications and will generally improve your surgical results.

Your body may respond poorly to anaesthetic, surgery stress and wound healing if you are underweight. Body stress during surgery and joint force during recovery can be reduced through losing weight if you are presently overweight. An increased risk of post-surgical complications, including implant failure, wound breakdown, infection and revision surgery, is associated with having a BMI of above 35.

Before your surgery, discuss with your employer and Dr Brumby-Rendell how much time you wish to take off work. You should expect a minimum of 2 weeks at home after surgery to ensure wound protection and recovery from anaesthetic. If your workplace is hazardous or a "full work clearance" is required by your employer, you may need to wait a longer duration before recommencing full responsibilities. Ask if your employer is comfortable with you recommencing work with lighter or modified duties or if they need a "full work clearance". Ensure you have these conversations before your procedure to avoid disappointment.

Organise for someone to drive you home after your surgery, as you are not permitted to drive for 24 hours. For information regarding recommencing driving after your surgical procedure, click the following link: Driving After Surgery.

During the trip home, do not consume any food or drink. This is because vomiting or nausea is often caused by the combination of food, car motion, pain relievers and anaesthesia. At home, do not eat until you are hungry, and do not eat greasy food until 24 hours post-surgery. Rather, eat a light meal first.

Take your pain relief medication as recommended by Dr Brumby-Rendell. Consume this medication when you start feeling uncomfortable and before your pain becomes severe. Pain will be controlled less effectively if you do not consume the medication until you are experiencing severe pain.

Make sure you keep your extremity (elbow, knee, leg, wrist or hand) elevated if you had surgery here. Apply ice, enclosed in a wet towel, on the affected skin for up to 20 minutes at a time. To decrease pain and swelling and aid fluid return to the heart, keep "toes higher than the nose".

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