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Preparing for Your Surgery

You and your surgeon should decide together if joint replacement is right for you. Our specialists will partner with you to meet your individual needs in preparation for surgery. They will discuss risks, infection prevention and pain management with you.

Surgery preparation is not only completed in the office, but also at home. It is imperative that patients understand and engage in health-promoting behaviors to achieve the best outcomes. These behaviors include:

  • Stand up, sit less, move more, move often: Incorporate physical activity into daily life as much as your body allows.
  • Make dietary modifications without sacrificing nutrition.
  • Stop using all nicotine products.
  • See your dentist.
  • Manage pre-existing conditions: Consult your provider to ensure your diabetes, anemia, etc. are under control.
  • Monitor your skin: Avoid sunburn, open wounds, scratches and rashes.

Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery | Q&A with Savya Thakkar, M.D.

Savya Thakkar, a hip and knee replacement specialist, talks about which conditions may require a hip replacement and what to expect before and after the surgery.

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery | Q&A with Savya Thakkar, M.D.

Orthopaedic hip and knee surgeon Savya Thakkar describes how to prepare for your knee replacement surgery, the procedure, recovery and life with an implant.


We also ask you to complete this list of tasks leading up to your surgery date:

  1. Select a coach
  2. Download a patient education guide
  3. Register for an educational session

Select a Coach

You will need to select a “coach” who will help you through the process and surgery. This person can be a family member or good friend — someone you can count on to go to therapy sessions while you are in the hospital, drive you to your appointments and be present during your discharge education. It is essential to have someone who will support you during this time.

Download a Pre-operative Patient Education Guide

The educational guides below contain rich information on what to expect leading up to, during and after your surgery. We encourage you to review the guide at home with your coach and bring it with you to your educational session.

Attend the Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery Educational Session

We offer an informative educational session to help you and your coach prepare for your upcoming surgery. During the class, we'll review important aspects of your care and what to expect during and after your hospital stay. Topics include diet and nutrition, exercises, infection prevention, anesthesia, pain reduction program, medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy and home safety checklists. You'll be able to ask questions about what to expect during your hospital stay and recovery.

Depending on where you are having your surgery, please use this information to register for an education session:


Additional Considerations Before Surgery

  • When you are evaluated for your surgery in the clinic, the surgeon will explain the procedure and have you sign a consent form. If the surgeon feels you will benefit from an evaluation with the anesthesiologist ahead of time, it will be arranged before your surgery. Otherwise, you will meet the anesthesiologist in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit just before surgery.

  • You must be seen by your primary doctor, by one of our medical doctors, or in our Preoperative Evaluation Center (PEC) within 30 days of surgery to determine if you are medically ready to have joint replacement surgery. Patients who have certain medical conditions also may need to be seen by a specialist before their surgery. For instance, the primary care doctor may refer you to a cardiologist if you have a history of heart disease. The anesthesiologist also will review your medical information to clear you for anesthesia during surgery. If you have any infection (uninary, skin, sinusitis, etc.), these will need to be treated before surgery. You must be off antibiotics for two full weeks before surgery.

  • Some orthopaedic procedures require you to make changes in your home. These changes are meant to make your home a safe environment when you return home from the hospital.

  • Advance directives tell us your decision regarding your acceptance or refusal of life sustaining medical treatment. You will be given a packet when you arrive in the Ambulatory Surgical Unit and questioned about your decision.

    If you have advance directives or a MOLST (Maryland Order for Life Sustaining Treatment), please give a copy to your nurse on the day of surgery.

  • The nurse from the Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU) will contact you two days before surgery to advise you of the following:

    • What time to arrive at the hospital
    • When to stop eating and drinking
    • What medicines may be taken
    • What paper work to bring with you

    You will be asked to bring a picture ID and your insurance cards.

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