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Patient Process

First time visit, preparing for surgery, post-op instructions.

First Visit 

When you come for your appointment please remember to obtain and bring the following: 

  • Your valid referral letter – would have been sent prior however always bring original on the day 

  • Your completed new patient registration forms, medical questionnaire and privacy consent forms. 

  • If you have not completed your patient registrations form, please ensure you bring your medicare card, private health insurance & any medications, illness or previous surgeries 



Preparing for Surgery 

Once you and Prof McDonald decide that surgery will help you with your condition, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems. 


Discuss with Prof McDonald 

Before surgery, Prof McDonald will perform an examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes. Routine tests, such as blood tests and ECG, are usually performed a week before any major surgery. 

  • Discuss any medications you are taking with Prof McDonald, certain medications will need to be ceased prior to surgery 

  • If you are taking aspirin or warfarin or any blood thinning medications that increase the risk of bleeding, it is crucial you speak to Prof McDonald about these 

  • If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your spine post surgery and aid in your recovery 

  • If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery 

  • Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later 

  • Eat a well-balanced diet 

  • Report any infections to Prof McDonald. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up 


On Day of Surgery 

If you are having Day Surgery, remember the following: 

  • Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours 

  • Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home 

  • The combination of anaesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours 

  • Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty in controlling the pain 


Preparing for Discharge  

  • Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry 

  • Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won’t have to reach and bend as often 

  • Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls 

  • Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms 

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