Depending on the location of your surgery it may be required to have preoperative testing. In some cases blood work, EKG (heart tracing), or a chest X-ray may be needed. A chest x-ray is only done if you have a lung condition or a history of cigarette smoking. If any of these tests are needed they will be scheduled for you and will be done during pre-testing when you meet with the anesthesia staff. If it has been some time since you have seen your primary care physician and you have a lot of medical problems, it would be best that you see your medical doctor before your pre-test date.
You can anticipate that your surgery will last approximately 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours, although this varies depending on the type of shoulder arthroscopy for which you are scheduled. If you have family members with you they will wait for you in the waiting room. Your doctor will speak with them immediately after your surgical procedure to let them know that you are finished. During your surgery, family members should plan on remaining in or near the waiting area in order to be accessible at the completion of the procedure. Belongings will be stored in a locker in the pre-operative area.
When you wake from surgery you will be located in the post-operative recovery room. Unfortunately family members cannot be present with you at this time as there are many other patients and many nurses in this area. Once you have been stabilized and are comfortable family members will be invited to sit with you while you continue recovering from surgery. Criteria for discharge include that your pain is under control and that you are eating, drinking, and able to walk to the bathroom with minimal assistance. You will have a dressing on your shoulder and your arm will be immobilized in a sling.
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