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Helpie FAQ

OFFICE VISITS

  • How can I make an appointment?

    We have five (6) locations throughout the state of Washington.

    For your convenience, please contact the clinic nearest to you:

    Westcare Medical Clinic – Auburn
    Location:
    3830 A St. SE
    Auburn, WA 98002
    Phone: (253) 204-2287
    Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday | 9 am – 6 pm
    Saturday | 9am – 3 pm
    Wednesday, Sunday | Closed

    Westcare Medical Clinic – Olympia
    Location:
    3000 Limited Lane NW
    Olympia, WA 98502
    Phone: (360) 357-9392
    Office Hours: Monday – Friday | 8 am – 5 pm
    Saturday | 9am – 3pm
    Sunday | Closed

    Westcare Medical Clinic – Everett
    Location:
    3426 Broadway St.
    Suite 101
    Everett, WA 98201
    Phone: (360) 357-9392
    Office Hours: Friday, Saturday | 9 am – 5 pm

    Westcare Medical Clinic – Federal Way
    Location:
    1627 S. 312th Street
    Federal Way, WA 98003
    Phone: (360) 357-9392
    Office Hours: Saturday | 9 am – 5 pm

    Westcare Medical Clinic – Renton
    Location:
    4509 Talbot Road
    Suite 102
    Renton, WA 98055
    Phone: (425) 272-2200
    Office Hours: Monday, Saturday | Appointment Only

    Westcare Medical Clinic – Yakima
    Location:
    6101 Summitview Ave Ste 220
    Yakima, WA 98908
    Phone: (360) 357-9392
    Office Hours: Saturday | 9 am – 5 pm

  • GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Can I be seen at any of the six locations?

    We recommend you visit the same clinic location each time. However, if for any reason you have to visit a different clinic location, we will accommodate you.

  • Do I need to fill out paperwork every appointment?

    No, you will only need to fill out our initial patient paperwork at your first appointment. You will then be registered in our system for future appointments. However, from time to time, you may be asked to update your information or complete progress questionnaires as needed.

  • What should I bring to my first appointment?

    We request you bring the following items to your first appointment:

    • Insurance card
    • Photo ID
    • Co-payment
    • Medical records
    • Any radiology imaging you have had (such as X-Rays, CT Scans, and MRI).

    To save time, you may download, print, and fill out your new patient paperwork in advance. The forms are downloadable here.

    Patient Authorization Form

  • How long does it take your clinic to process records requests?

    Records requests are processed within 24-48 hours upon receipt of the request. There is a customary fee imposed per page on these requests, and expedited requests may generate additional fees.

  • Does your clinic accept cash as a form of pay at visits?

    We can accept cash as a form of pay at visits on a case-by-case basis. Accepting cash may depend on the medical treatment the patient is going to have, and may depend on the patient’s providers.

  • When will my co-payment be billed to me?

    Co-payment is due at the time of service.

  • Is my insurance accepted?

    Prior to setting an appointment with our clinic, we recommend that patients verify their coverages with their insurance providers. Our clinic will also conduct insurance verifications on site as part of our protocol.

    Insurances We Accept

  • Will I see my physician at every appointment?

    During your initial consultation, you will see one of our physicians. However, at future appointments, you may be seen by your assigned physician, a physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner based on your plan of care, which is evaluated after each visit.

  • What is the cancellation policy if I’m late or miss an appointment?

    To ensure that we are able to maximize our scheduling, we ask that you please provide 24-hour notice for cancellation. If you will be late for an appointment, please call our clinic as soon as you can. You may be asked to wait or reschedule your appointment to a later date. Please note that late cancellations may be subject to a fee.

  • Can I get the new patient paperwork online?

    Yes, we have all our new patient paperwork on our website. You may download, print, and fill out your new patient paperwork in advance. The forms are downloadable here. (insert website download link here)

  • Do I need to see my doctor to have my prescription refilled?

    By law, some medication prescriptions require for you to be seen by your physician in order to receive a refill, but not all. Your physician will discuss with you whether or not your medication refill will require a visit when they initially prescribe the medication. If your medication allows for refills without an appointment, you must call to request a refill 3-5 business days in advance to have your request processed.

  • Does your clinic accept walk-in appointments?

    Our clinics accept walk-in appointments on a case-by-case basis. Acceptance of the walk-in appointments will be determined by office staff. Our clinic’s office staff will investigate patient eligibility, referrals, and reason for the visit.

  • Does your clinic accept late arrivals?

    Yes, currently, our clinic accepts late arrivals. However, these late arrivals must be within a 15-minute grace period. It is under our discretion to determine if the clinic can accommodate the patient’s late arrival. This is dependent on time permitted. Unfortunately, on some occasions, rescheduling will be needed.

  • PAIN MANAGEMENT

  • Should I take pain medication only when I have a lot of pain?

    Pain is easier to control when it is mild. Please do not wait until your pain becomes severe to take pain medication. You should take your pain medication regularly and as prescribed. This may mean taking medicine on a regular schedule, even when you don’t feel pain.

  • Will I become addicted to narcotic pain medications?

    Not necessarily. There are several factors that go into whether a person has a likelihood of becoming addicted, such as his or her addiction history. If you’ve never abused drugs or suffered from an addictive disorder, you are less likely to develop an addiction to your narcotic pain medications. Therefore, you should always take your medication exactly as prescribed. Contact your doctor about any concerns you may have.

  • Why do I need to keep taking more of my medicine to have the same effect?

    Some patients may develop tolerance to a drug, which is a normal physiological response. When the dose of a substance loses its effectiveness and potency over time, that means that a patient has developed a tolerance. Oftentimes, changing the dose or the medication will resolve the problem. Drug tolerance is not equivalent to a drug addiction.

  • Should I tell my medical provider that I am having pain?

    Yes. You should always tell your medical provider that you are having pain. It is important for our health care team to know if you are in pain in order to assess the cause of pain and effectively treat it.

  • Some days my acute pain is much worse. What can I do?

    You may notice at times that you are in more pain than usual. There are preventative pain measures you can take. For example, if you notice that certain activities contribute to your pain, medication can be taken prior to those activities. Likewise, if you feel worse at certain times of the day, medication can be taken prior to those times of day. This will help prevent the pain from occurring. Always be sure to consult with your doctor and follow your doctor’s instructions.

  • How should I describe my pain to my doctor?

    It’s vital that you describe your pain in as much detail as possible to both the doctors and nurses that are treating you. Oftentimes the doctors and nurses will require you to scale your pain on a scale of 0 – 10 (0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain).

  • What can my friends and family do to help my pain?

    Your friends and family members can help you with your pain in both emotional and physical ways. They can help you physically by assisting you when your pain worsens, and emotionally by encouraging you to live as normally as possible.

  • Do I have to suffer with chronic pain for the rest of my life?

    It is possible to live a pain-free life. With proper treatment, the symptoms of chronic pain can be decreased or alleviated completely.

  • NEUROLOGY

  • What are neurological disorders?

    Diseases of the brain, spine and nerves are called neurological disorders. There are currently more than 600 diseases of the nervous system.

  • What are common neurological disorders?

    • Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
    • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
    • Brain Tumors
    • Cerebrovascular Diseases
    • Epilepsy
    • Headaches and Migraines
    • Parkinson’s Disease
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Neuromuscular Diseases
    • Peripheral Nerve Disorders
    • Sleep Disorders
    • Spinal Disorders
    • Stroke
    • Tremors

  • Who should I go to if I’m experiencing symptoms of neurological disorders?

    You should visit with a neurologist or a neurosurgeon. Both treat neurological disorders, except neurosurgeons can use surgical techniques as well as non-surgical practices.

  • How are neurological disorders treated?

    The treatment is different for each condition. Your neurologist will perform and interpret tests of your brain and nervous system in order to provide you with the most effective and appropriate treatment options.

  • What is a Neurological Examination like?

    Your neurologist will review your health history while paying special attention to the condition that you are currently experiencing. Then they will conduct an examination, which will test the following:

    • Vision
    • Strength
    • Coordination
    • Memory
    • Reasoning and puzzle-solving abilities
    • Reflexes
    • Ability to feel physical objects
    • Smelling ability
    • Hearing ability

    The results of your test will help your neurologist determine if your problem stems from the brain or nervous system. You may need further tests to confirm a diagnosis or determine which treatment is best for you.

  • What are the signs of stroke?

    When it comes to a stroke, the best way to determine whether someone is having one is to think F.A.S.T., which stands for the following:

    Face. Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile.
    Arms. Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms.
    Speech. Does their speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
    Time. If you observe any of these signs, it is time to call 911.

  • What are the options for treating stroke?

    Treating a stroke is difficult, but there are several ways to prevent a stroke. The leading cause of a stroke is high blood pressure. Our clinic typically treats hypertension with medications, and possibly with anticoagulants if we discover a patient has a problem with blood clots. Lifestyle changes are important to prevent a stroke. Some lifestyle changes that decrease the likelihood of a stroke are as follows:

    • Stopping smoking
    • Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet
    • Getting enough exercise
    • Proper sleep
    • Eliminating stress

  • Are there surgical options for treating stroke?

    There are surgical options for treating a stroke, including:

    • The hardening of the arteries–this procedure is called atherosclerosis. In order to perform such a procedure, neurosurgeons take images of your brain and review them. The neurosurgeons will also potentially perform an angiogram (blood flow measurement with imaging) to determine which arteries in your brain are narrowed or blocked and may need surgical intervention.
    • A vein enlargement–this type of procedure is called angioplasty.
    • Inserting a stent–a stent is a mesh tube that keeps the vein expanded. Bypass surgery may also be recommended to graft a new vein to provide flow around a blocked artery.

    Patients who receive such procedures may not be able to leave the hospital immediately post-operation, but will likely be released from the hospital within 1-2 days.

  • How is Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosed?

    Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease can only be definitively diagnosed after a patient has died, through an autopsy of the brain. However, some patients can be tentatively diagnosed during their lifetime after undergoing medical examinations that look for behavioral changes related to the disease.

  • Is there a test to determine if I’m susceptible to Alzheimer’s Disease?

    The short answer is no. Apolipoprotein E gene variants (APOE4) have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. However, although genetic tests for mutations or alleles are available, having an abnormal APOE4 gene does not mean you will get the disease. Many people who develop the disease have a normal APOE4 gene.

  • What is the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?

    The term dementia refers to a set of symptoms, not a specific disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

  • Will I develop Dementia because I have a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease?

    Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Although several genes, such as the APOE4 gene, have been linked to the disease, genetic testing will not predict whether or not you will develop it.

  • How do I know if my headache is a migraine?

    A migraine is described as a disabling and recurring constant headache. A migraine normally occurs on one side of a person’s head. There are a wide range of sensations that result from a migraine such as pulsing or throbbing sensations in one area of your head. Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound are also common. A tension headache is one that is both mild and dull in pressure. A cluster headache is a headache that gives a severe, “stabbing” pain behind one eye and may be accompanied by congestion in your sinuses.

  • How do I know if I have had a concussion?

    A concussion starts with a blow or injury to the head, or a fall or other mishap that may cause your head to be shaken violently. Symptoms of a concussion include the following:

    • Difficulty thinking clearly and remembering
    • Unusual changes in moods and emotions
    • Alterations in sleep patterns
    • Physical symptoms (such as nausea and vomiting, headache, blurred vision, light and noise sensitivity, and balance and dizziness problems)

  • Can I visit your clinic for constant or recurring pain?

    Yes you can. Our specialists will first determine the underlying cause of your pain, and then treat that cause if possible. If the pain is from a neurological condition that cannot be resolved, we will suggest a range of medications (like analgesics, corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory agents) to alleviate the pain, as well as medical devices like a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit (TENS).

  • Can you help with pain that cannot be controlled by medication?

    For symptoms that we are unable to control by medication, we will recommend several options to alleviate the pain. One option for pain not alleviated by medication is a procedure that cuts the specific nerve causing a patient’s pain. The specific nerve would be cut where it emerges from the spinal cord. Another option for such pain is to implant an electronic device into the patient that would overstimulate the spinal cord so that it is unable to transmit the pain signals.

  • ORTHOPEDICS

  • What is Orthopedics?

    Orthopedics, also referred to as orthopaedics, is a medical specialty which focuses on assisting patients with disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. These parts of the body make up the musculoskeletal system.

  • How can I avoid orthopaedic issues?

    Bones are the support system of the body, so it’s very important to keep them healthy and strong. Lifestyle changes are important in the prevention of orthopaedic issues. Some lifestyle changes that help prevent orthopaedic issues and maintain bone health are as follows:

    • Consuming enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet
    • Regular exercise
    • Keeping caffeine and alcohol intake low
    • Avoiding smoking

  • What is arthritis?

    Our bodies have areas where two bones meet– these areas are called joints. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints.There is a type of connective tissue in our joints called cartilage, which protects and preserves the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock when a person moves. Arthritis can occur when cartilage tissue erodes, causing painful and weak joints. The two most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA develops as a result of normal wear and tear from usage of the joints, while RA is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your immune system attacks your body’s tissues.

  • What causes arthritis?

    Arthritis has a wide range of potential causes, including the following:

    • Metabolic abnormalities
    • Hereditary factors
    • Infections
    • Injury
    • Autoimmune disorders

    Please note that these are not exclusive, and there are several other possible causes that may not be listed.

  • What causes shoulder pain?

    A very common orthopaedic complaint is shoulder pain. Often the source of that pain is a torn rotator cuff. The two main causes of rotator cuff tears are injury and degeneration. You can cause further damage to your rotator cuff if you continue to put stress on it after a tear. If you are experiencing chronic shoulder or arm pain, it is best to visit your orthopaedic specialist. For the majority of patients, an orthopaedic doctor will provide non-surgical treatment, such as physical therapy or steroid injections to ease pain and improve function in your shoulder.

  • When should I ice an injury?

    Generally, ice should be used within the first 24-48 hours of an injury to reduce swelling and pain. After an injury, follow the P.R.I.C.E. protocol:

    Protection
    Rest
    Ice
    Compression
    Elevation

    Never use ice directly on the skin. Depending on the area of the injury, ice should be used for 10 to 20 minutes. The thicker the tissue of the injured area, the longer the application time. Knee injuries typically require 15 minutes of icing, while areas with more musculature, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, require 20 minutes. Thinner tissues, such as ankles and feet, require only 10 minutes.

  • When should I heat an injury?

    Generally, heat can be used to treat both muscle pain and stiffness. Where inflammation is present, heat should never be directly applied. When direct heat is applied, stiffness and tension should dissipate after 15 to 20 minutes. Heating pads are recommended when treating stiff areas. The longer the heat is applied to the directed area of treatment, the more likely it is that moderate to severe pain will be alleviated. Heat should also be used to warm up muscles prior to any physical activity.

  • What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness, tingling, and weakness in a person’s hands, wrists, or arms. It occurs when there is a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel. If not treated immediately, it can worsen over time.

  • What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

    Carpal tunnel syndrome has no single cause. However, certain risks and certain daily activities may contribute to the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, such as:

    • Repetitive motion
    • Conditions that cause continuous pressure on the nerves
    • Obesity
    • Inflammatory conditions

    An orthopaedic doctor may potentially relieve early symptoms with a wrist splint or by limiting certain activities.

  • What causes knee pain?

    In addition to carpal tunnel syndrome, knee pain is also another type of orthopaedic issue. Unfortunately, knee pain affects people of all ages. It is commonly the end-result of an injury or prolonged inflammation. The knee facilitates a lot of movement and absorbs a lot of stress, so they are especially prone to injury or damage. A specialist will likely recommend knee braces or physical therapy at first. However, in severe cases, the pain may require more aggressive and invasive treatment such as injections or surgery to correct mechanical breakdowns.

  • Will I need surgery?

    Although orthopedic surgeons are trained and experienced in providing surgery, they do not always prescribe this treatment. Non-surgical options like P.R.I.C.E. (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation), casting, physical therapy, and injections can be sufficient in many situations. Surgical treatment options will vary depending on your needs, and may be used as a last resort. Arthroscopy, joint replacement, ligament reconstruction, fracture repair, and hand surgery are just some of the most common orthopedic surgeries.

  • How do injections work for orthopedic health issues?

    Orthopedic injections aren’t like numbing shots from the dentist or a flu shot. They can be used for relief from pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Some common conditions that orthopedic injections can treat include:

    • Arthritis
    • Nerve pain
    • Tendonitis

  • PROCEDURES

  • What do I need to do to prepare for a procedure or injection?

    Preparation will be dependent on the instructions that are given to the patient, either via telephone or over email. The instructions for preparation are normally administered upon scheduling the procedure.

  • How many office visits will I need after my procedure?

    Every patient will have at least one required follow-up appointment after the procedure. Future follow-up appointments will depend on the progress of recovery for each patient, which will vary.

  • Do I need to stop taking my usual medications?

    Unless you are on blood-thinners, your doctor will likely instruct you to take your medication on your normal schedule prior to a procedure.

  • Will I have any restrictions on the day after my procedure?

    You may not drive for the remainder of the day. No heat is to be used on the injected area, nor any baths or soaking in the water. You may resume your normal diet and medications after the procedure, unless told otherwise by your doctor. Each patient will be different. Your doctor will give you exact instructions after your procedure.

  • When should the patient call after the procedure?

    Our office will want to speak to you regarding your response after the procedure. We will want to know if you have experienced pain relief, or if you are experiencing any problems. Our post-procedure calls are usually within 24 hours after the procedure

  • Will the injection hurt?

    Some people complain of a stinging and burning sensation as a result of the medicine. However, everyone’s response is based on their own individual pain tolerance. The injections are administered near the affected nerve. Therefore, it is possible to get a temporary “electric shock” sensation.

  • How much time do I need to recover?

    Recovery time is dependent on factors related to each individual patient. Some patients may go back to their normal routine sooner than others, but again, there are many factors that come into play.

  • SURGERY

  • What should I expect on the business day before my surgery?

    Your doctor’s office will call you the day or evening before your surgery to give you an arrival time at the surgery center. If you do not have a confirmed time for your surgery, contact your surgeon’s office. A nurse from the surgery center may contact you for a pre-admission interview. If you do not hear from the nurse, the interview will then take place the day of surgery.

  • What do I need to prepare in the evening before my surgery?

    • Sleep is vital, so make sure you are well rested.
    • Make sure you have the contact information of the person taking you home from the surgery center. This information will need to be passed on to an assisting nurse when you arrive.
    • Write a list of all your medications, including but not limited to, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations, and vitamins.
    • Please have your insurance card and any insurance forms required by your insurer.
    • Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
    • If you are currently seeking care for pain management, please follow the nutritional guidelines set by your doctor.

  • What should I expect on the day of my surgery?

    • You will be brought into the pre-operative area by an assisting nurse.
    • Your temperature will likely be taken as well as your weight.
    • You will be required to change into a medical gown.
    • The nurse and an anesthesiologist will meet with you before your procedure.
    • An intravenous line for fluids and medications will be inserted in your arm before surgery and remain in your arm until after surgery.
    • Surgery times are only an approximation. Your surgery may take longer or be shorter than anticipated.

  • What are the things that I should remember on the day of my surgery?

    • Due to the difficulty of showering post-surgery, it is essential to bathe and shower before your surgery.
    • Brush your teeth. Make sure not to swallow any water as you brush your teeth.
    • Make sure your contact lenses are removed prior to surgery. If you have glasses, make sure to bring them.
    • Do not smoke the day of surgery. Your doctor should inform you of any risks associated with smoking and the surgery.
    • Leave all valuables at home (i.e., jewelry and cash), except for your co-payment.
    • Dress comfortably in loose clothing and shoes that are easy to put on.
    • Do not wear any jewelry.
    • Please avoid wearing any external products like perfume, body lotion, or cologne.
    • If necessary, take any presurgical medication with a light sip of water.
    • Please bring a picture ID, insurance card, and any co-payment you may have.
    • Bring your list of medications including but not limited to, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations, and vitamins.
    • Please arrive on time at the site of your scheduled surgery. It’s always best to arrive early if possible.
    • Refreshments are not served, so please instruct any waiting persons to bring their own.
    • One parent or legal guardian must always be present in the surgery center for any patient under 18 years of age.

  • What arrangements do I need to prepare?

    • Arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home, if you are going home the same day of your surgery or procedure. This person should be at least 18 years of age.
    • Please instruct your ride that they will have to be at the surgery center when the procedure begins and remain at the surgery center until the procedure has concluded.
    • Alternative driving resources are available if you call the surgery center a minimum of 24 hours before your procedure. Costs must be covered by the patient.
    • If you live alone, arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours post-procedure.
    • Your home should be prepared prior to your return, meaning your laundry and shopping should be done prior to your procedure.
    • If you live alone, please prepare your meals ahead of time.
    • Make plans for a person to drive you to necessary locations as you will likely be limited in your driving capacity.
    • If you have small children, dependent adults, or animals you care for, arrange to have someone help you watch them during the first few days after surgery.
    • A parent or legal guardian must be present to sign Consent Forms if the patient is a minor. If someone other than the parent or legal guardian will be with a child, written permission, copy of their I.D. and the telephone number of the parent or legal guardian must be presented.
    • A copy of a Power of Attorney may be required if someone is signing for the patient.

  • What are the things I need to prepare for in case I will need to use ambulatory devices (wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc.)?

    • Request your doctor provide you with the type of assistive device you will be required to use after your surgery.
    • Find out what are the best practices for using such equipment from your doctor or medical supply provider.
    • If you are expected to use a wheelchair or crutches, make sure you are working on upper body strength as that will make it easier post-surgery for you to use those types of equipment.
    • Submit an application for a temporary Handicap Permit. Your doctor may be required to submit forms in order for you to receive this permit.
    • If your bedroom is not on the main floor in your home, please make sure to set up a temporary bedroom on the main floor of your home.
    • Unless your doctor or medical provider will be providing the necessary ambulatory devices on the day of surgery, please make sure to bring your devices with you on the day of surgery.

  • RECOVERY

  • How will I prepare my bathroom for postsurgical use?

    • Place the toiletries on a counter that is easy for you to reach, as you will likely be incapable of straining yourself to reach such items post-surgery.
    • Make sure that you have an adequate supply of toiletries, or know someone who can purchase you more in the event that you run out.
    • Ensure that your towels are placed in easy-to-reach places to avoid unnecessarily straining your body post-surgery.
    • Set out a handheld mirror as you will likely need to monitor your wound.
    • When it comes to showering or bathing, you should have a slip-resistant mat inside of the bathtub. If possible, you may want to have installed handrails for you to grip onto while bathing and showering.

  • How can I make my home conducive for recovery?

    • If you have any uneven flooring in your home, either be aware of such uneven flooring or attempt to make repairs prior to your surgery.
    • If you have steps leading up to your house, double-check the stability of the railings by wiggling them. If the railing appears unstable, it is necessary to consider fixing them. Unstable railings, both indoors and outdoors, may expose you to injury.
    • Hide any loose cords or wires to prevent tripping.
    • If your thermostat is positioned high on a wall, make sure to set your thermostat before your operation so that way you will be comfortable.
    • It is recommended that you have your meals prepared prior to surgery. In the event you have groceries, make sure the groceries are set in easy-to-reach places.
    • Avoid walking in the dark and avoid walking when drowsy.
    • If you have electronics, ensure these electronics are fully charged or with new batteries prior to your surgery. You do not want to be kneeling, crouching, or bending post-surgery in order to charge a device.
    • Check the batteries in your fire and carbon monoxide detectors so that they are working properly. For your safety and the safety of others in your presence, it is extremely important you check these devices prior to your surgery.
    • If you wear contacts or glasses, make sure to have them nearby.
    • Consider purchasing and using satin sheets during your recovery period, as they are easier to slide in and out of without exerting too much effort.
    • Read books, watch television, or do non-strenuous activities to help you pass the time as your body rests.
    • Use a pillowed lap desk when you are using your laptop.
    • Use a reaching tool when you are forced to grab items that would otherwise require you to strain. Your home should be set up in a manner that prevents you from needing to reach.
    • If you know that you will be spending a lot of time on your couch, make sure that your furniture is positioned in a manner that you like, as it will not be recommended to move furniture post-surgery.

  • Will I need personal assistance after my surgery?

    • Identify a family member or close friend that is capable and available to monitor and assist you throughout your recovery period.
    • The first week post-surgery is difficult, so please make sure this family member or friend is there to help you when needed.
    • The first 24-hours post-surgery are extremely difficult. Therefore, your family member or friend is expected to be there at your side during those hours.
    • If neighbors and friends offer to make food for you, accept unless you have certain dietary restrictions. It’s important that you place as little stress as possible on your body post-surgery, so allow others to cook for you.
    • If you have children, be careful with any toys that may be left laying around your home.
    • Inform your mailman that you will be having surgery as they may be open to dropping off the mail at your door.
    • If necessary, ask your spouse, close friend, or relative to help you shower or bathe. Do not attempt to shower or bathe on your own if you will be straining yourself.

  • What are the things that I should do in order for me to have a stress-free recovery?

    • Pay and record your payment of monthly bills beforehand.
    • Double check your pharmacy’s policies, as you may need written or oral consent in order for an authorized person to pick up your prescription.
    • Have a list of necessary phone numbers, such as your doctor and pharmacie’s day-hours and after-hours numbers.
    • Use a pillbox to keep track of your dosage and the times of your prescriptions.
    • Make sure that all errands or household chores are completed prior to surgery, or have someone ready to assist you with those tasks post-surgery.
    • Prepare a grocery list for the person that will be performing your grocery shopping post-surgery. On your grocery list, you should include milk and/or vitamin D, which promotes bone health. Purchase containers that are easy to lift.
    • Stock up on pre-made meals (either home-made or frozen bought). Microwaving food that is already made will prevent you from placing unnecessary stress on your body while cooking.
    • If no one is around to help you wash your dishes, use disposable plastic plates and utensils.
    • Lay out all your loose-fitting clothing to prevent any straining as a result of searching through closets and dressers.
    • Try not to wear socks and slippers as they are prone to slipping on hardwood and tile floors.

  • If travel cannot be avoided, what are the things that I should keep in mind?

    • If the trip is expected to last more than two hours, plan routine stops in order to allow yourself to stand and stretch. Make sure you are not overly straining or exerting pressure on your body, especially on your recovering areas.
    • If you are susceptible to motion sickness, pack water and snacks.
    • Consider environmental and weather-related issues before travelling. Ensure that your travel plans can be executed safely in the current conditions.
    • Avoid hazardous driving conditions, such as driving in the fog, at night, or during rush hour.
    • Avoid walking outside in snow or rain.
    • Stay away from wet grass, slippery sidewalks, and rough or uneven surfaces.

  • What will happen immediately after the surgery?

    • You will be escorted to the Recovery Room by a nurse.
    • You will remain in the Recovery Room until your anesthesia wears off.
    • You will likely have an intravenous line for fluids and medication until you are capable of drinking on your own.
    • You will likely experience some pain after the surgery. However, the nurses and doctors in the Recovery Room will help you address any discomfort. Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 – 10 (0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain).
    • Your health and the type of procedure will determine how much time you need to recover in the Recovery Room.

  • Will I receive post-procedure instructions?

    • Either the nurse or doctor will provide you with post-surgery instructions prior to your departure from the surgery center.
    • These instructions will either be written or oral.
    • Your nurse will review the discharge instructions with you and your assisting family member or friend and give you a written copy. It is important you follow these instructions for a safe recovery.

  • How will I get home after my surgery?

    • Your assisting family member or friend will drive you home.
    • Arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. You may need help around the house or with getting your prescriptions filled.
    • Do not drive for 24 hours after anesthesia.
    • The nurse or doctor should call on you the following day to check your status.
    • If you experience extreme pain or discomfort after your surgery, contact your doctor right away.
    • At the time of discharge, you will receive a patient satisfaction survey with postage already paid. When you have a moment to complete the survey, please do so, as this will help us provide better service and care to our future patients.

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