Preparing for surgery


Smoking is the single most important risk factor for the development of complications after any orthopaedic surgery. The complications include:

  • Heart/lung complications
  • Wound healing problems
  • Wound or implant infection
  • Impaired bone healing
  • Risks of further surgery
  • Need for admission to intensive care.

You can decrease your risk of complication by stopping smoking at least six weeks before your surgery.


You must tell your surgeon or the nurse all of the medications you are taking, as some will need to be stopped before you can have surgery. Blood thinning tablets, such as aspirin or warfarin and some anti-inflammatory tablets are just a few of the tablets that need to be stopped. Please also let us know if you are taking blood pressure or diabetes tablets. It is also very important that you tell us about any medication allergies that you have.

Admission to hospital

The hospital staff will telephone you the day before your procedure to let you know what time to arrive at the hospital. If you are having a day procedure, we ask that you wear loose, comfortable clothing and leave jewelry at home. Ladies, please do not wear any makeup. If you are staying overnight in hospital, you will need a bag with your pyjamas or nightgown, a dressing gown and slippers. Please do not bring any valuable items. If you are having a morning procedure, you will be asked to fast from midnight the night before. If your procedure is on the afternoon list, you will be able to have an early light breakfast (tea and toast at about 6am). Fasting means nothing to eat, drink or smoke.