Preparing For Surgery

Once you and your doctor decide that surgery is appropriate, you will complete surgical paperwork and sign your consent forms in the office.

Our surgical coordinator will then contact you to choose a surgery date that is both appropriate for your needs and convenient for your schedule.

Pre-Operative: What to Expect

You will receive a letter 2–3 weeks prior to your surgery. The surgical coordinator will have arranged your pretest appointments with anesthesia as needed.

Depending on your surgeon, our surgical coordinator will discuss the location of the facility where your surgery is going to take place.

Approximately two days before your scheduled surgery, the surgical coordinator will contact you with an approximate time for your surgery. As mentioned when we coordinated your surgical date, it is important that you leave the entire day available. While we try our best to not make changes to your schedule, please understand that occasionally we may need to rearrange the surgical schedule resulting in changes to your arrival time. Occasionally there may be unavoidable delays in the operating room during the course of the day which may alter the actual time of your surgery. While we make every effort to avoid this inconvenience, we do appreciate you understanding and cooperation. We will notify you in the event of a change to your scheduled surgical time.

There are two types of pretest appointments depending on your age and health history. Your pretest will either be a phone screen done by a nurse or in person. Our surgical coordinator will discuss this in more detail with you when your surgery is planned.

Most surgeries are outpatient day surgery. You will be asked to arrive approximately 1½ hours prior to your surgery. This allows time for registration and preparing you for surgery, including starting an IV, changing into proper clothes and meeting again with anesthesia and your hand surgeon.

After your surgery, you will move to the recovery room until you are fully awake, and you are comfortable. You will also be given something to eat and drink prior to your discharge. Once you are ready to go home, you will be given post-operative instructions from your nurse.

Please remember you need to have someone you know drive you home. Taxi rides home are not permitted.

It is preferable once you return home to begin eating and drinking fluids prior to taking the prescribed pain medication.

Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

The Wikstrom Surgical Center is located on the Newton Wellesley Hospital campus. You should take the East Entrance from Rt. 16 and follow signs to Wikstrom Surgical Center. Parking is available in the main garage. The Wikstrom Surgical Center is located behind the main parking garage. Patients being dropped off can follow signs to the surgical center, which has its' own entrance.

If you surgery is going to be done at Newton Wellesley Hospital, pretest appointments, if they are not phone screens, are at the Wikstrom Surgical Center, not your doctor's office.

You may NOT eat or drink most drinks after midnight the night before your surgery unless otherwise specified by your doctor. If your surgery is late in the day, you may drink CLEAR liquids (only water, black coffee, black tea, cranberry or apple juice) up to 4 hours prior to your arrival. You may take your morning medicines with a very small sip of water if necessary. If you take any medicine for diabetes, please call the office for specific questions regarding those medications.

Please ask your doctor about specific medications, but anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve and aspirin and Plavix should be stopped 10 days prior to your surgery. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is safe to continue.

If you take Coumadin or other blood thinners, please call the office. This will have to be stopped an appropriate amount of time prior to surgery and special blood tests done the day of surgery.

For ALL medications and especially if you take an MAO inhibitor, please make sure that this information is noted on your preoperative evaluation.

If you are unsure about stopping your medication, please call the office.

If you know you need to cancel surgery, please call as soon as possible so it can be rescheduled. If you think your surgery in no longer needed, please speak with the doctor or physician assistant prior to canceling.

If you are having surgery on any finger, that finger's acrylic nail and/or polish MUST be removed prior to surgery. You may leave on nail polish or acrylic for all other surgeries.

Recovery time varies with the surgery and from patient to patient. Please call the office for more specific answers regarding your own recovery time.

There is a doctor on call 24 hours a day. If you feel you have an emergent problem after your surgery, please call the office and the answering service will have the doctor on call paged. Please keep in mind this is for emergencies only. For a real emergency related or unrelated to your surgery, if you can't reach the doctor in a reasonable time, please go to the closest emergency room. For all other non emergent problems, please call the office and leave a message which will be returned the following morning.

Post-Operative Office Visits

In most cases, two post-operative office visits are scheduled for you at the Hand Surgery office.

  • The dates and times of these visits are indicated on the letter you receive prior to your surgery.
  • The visits are planned with either your doctor or the physician assistant.

While we ask that you keep these as scheduled, occasionally a conflict arises. If so, please call to reschedule.