Guidelines for Surgery Preparation and Recovery

at the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center

Presurgery Preparation

You will be contacted by a Surgery Center nurse the day before your surgery to confirm the time of your surgery and review any special instructions you will need to follow in preparation for surgery. Please call the Surgery Center at (317) 471-4398 if you have not been reached by 4:00 p.m.

1. Day of Surgery

Your arrival time will be one or two hours prior to your actual surgery time because of anesthesia, preparation, registration, etc. Surgery may be delayed or even canceled due to emergencies. 

2. Eating and Drinking

DO NOT eat from the midnight before your surgery. This means NO gum or mints. You may drink clear liquids up until 6 hours before your ARRIVAL time (if instructed to arrive at 10am, you may have clear liquids until 4 am). Within 6 hours of your ARRIVAL time, you must not eat, drink, or smoke, including ice, gum, or mints. This is VERY IMPORTANT. If you have had anything to eat or drink, including water, without having been instructed to do so, your surgery may be delayed or canceled.

3. Medications

If you take medications (including aspirin) on a regular basis, please check with your surgeon’s office to make sure whether or not they should be taken prior to your surgery. This is important since many drugs need to be stopped. Bring a current list of your medications with you on the day of your surgery. Please bring with you to your surgery any medications that you may need to take after your surgery (i.e. Insulin, Emergency Inhaler, etc.). If you are unsure, please call the nurse at 1-800-888-4263 ext. 889.

4. Change in Physical Condition

If there is a change in your physical condition such as cold, fever, cough, development of open sores, cuts or significant changes on your arm or hand, please contact your surgeon’s office before the day of surgery at 1-800-888-4263 ext. 889.

5. Precautions

Conditions our surgery center staff needs to be aware of at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery to prevent possible complications:

  • Reactions to general anesthesia
  • Severe asthma
  • Use of diet medications
  • Latex allergies
  • Pacemaker
  • Heart problems
  • Use of herbs/vitamins
  • Insulin-dependent diabetic

6. Driving

A responsible adult must drive you home.  You will not be permitted to leave alone in a taxi or uber. 

7. Presurgery Hygiene

  • The night before surgery, clean and trim your fingernails if your arm is not bandaged, wash with soap and water for six minutes.
  • Remove all jewelry including body piercings.
  • False fingernails may need to be removed, depending on the types of surgery you are undergoing.

8. Attire

You will need to undress and wear one of our gowns during surgery. Wear casual, loose fitting clothing, short-sleeved shirts are suggested. You may be sent home in a large dressing or cast, which does not fit through most sleeves.

Postsurgery Preparations

1. After Your Surgery

After completion of surgery you will be cared for in the Recovery Area until you are released to return home. The stay in the recovery unit is usually thirty minutes to one hour.

2. Postsurgery Activity

If you had any sedative for your procedure, DO NOT drive, drink alcoholic beverages, sign legal documents or operate complex machinery for at least twenty-four (24) hours following surgery. This does not apply for cases done under local anesthesia. If you are released to work, it is between you and your employer how you get to work.

3. Pain Medications

Our policy at the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center is to accept requests for new prescriptions and refills only during our regular office hours; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, call (317) 875-9105 or (800) 888-HAND ext. 889. Please have complete pharmacy information when you call.

If you should need an additional prescription please plan ahead by calling early in the day (and during the week), as we will not be able to accommodate your request after the hour of 4:30 p.m. or on weekends. Should you feel that you need a prescription or a refill outside of these hours you will need to be seen in an emergency room or office, and be evaluated by a physician.

4. FMLA and Disability Forms

FMLA and Disability forms are handled through Medicopy.  Please allow 7-10 days for these forms to be completed.

On the disability forms, your work restrictions will be given. We will determine your restrictions.  Your disability company must determine whether it is appropriate to grant disability payments.

5. Returning to Work

You will be given written instructions following your surgery and a work status form indicating your limitations. It is your responsibility to present them to your employer, so they may determine when you should return to work.

6. Patient Work Status Forms

A Work Status Form contains vital information for you and your employer regarding your medical ability to perform tasks or use your arm and hand. We will determine your restrictions.  Your employer will determine your employability.

Our physicians take great care providing the most comprehensive patient care available. Every consideration is given in determining the ability of the patient to continue working throughout the recovery period. Medical indications for a patient to be placed in a “cannot work” status include: no use of both hands, hospitalization, and conditions requiring daily medical treatment.

It is the responsibility of you and your employer to determine if work is available that will accommodate the restrictions given by your physician.