About Mercy

Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Four weeks before surgery

  • If it is not already part of your daily routine, begin taking a multivitamin once per day. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a multivitamin that is best for you. You may also be asked to take an iron supplement to help build up your hemoglobin (blood count).
  • Complete the Personal Health Record/Personal Medication Record (PDF)*. We encourage you to use a pencil to complete your medication list; this will make it easier to edit the list should your doctor need to change any of your medications. It is important to complete each medication entry with the name of the drug, the strength of the medicine and how often you take it. If you take over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements, be sure to include them on this list as well. Completing this medication record will not only be helpful before your hospitalization, but also during and after your stay.
    Approximately one to five days before your surgery, you will receive a phone call from the pre-surgery department from Mercy Medical Center or Mercy West Lakes. You will be asked questions about your health history and medications. Most of the answers to their questions are located on this form.
  • If you see a cardiologist, you will need to make an appointment to see them within four weeks of surgery.

Two weeks before surgery

  • Stop taking all herbal medications and extra vitamin supplements. If you don’t, they may interfere with your blood clotting factors. Certain supplements may also interact with medications needed during surgery. Herbal and vitamin supplements include: echinacea. ginseng, ginkgo biloba, garlic, glucosamine, fish oils, St. John’s wort, ginger, kava and many others. If you take vitamin E in addition to your multivitamin, you will need to stop taking it.

Seven days before surgery

  • You should stop taking all anti-inflammatory medications one week before surgery. You may call these medications your “arthritis pill” or “pain pill.” Anti-inflammatories include aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), diclofenac (Voltaren®), Meloxicam (Mobic®) and many others. All of these medications may cause increased bleeding and/or decreased clotting of your blood. Some anti-inflammatory gels are thought to have the same risks; if this pertains to you, discuss this with your physician to see if you should stop using it. If you do not stop these seven days ahead of your surgery, it may result in your physician postponing your surgery date.
  • Stop taking blood thinning medications, such as Coumadin®, Plavix® or Aggrenox®. Your primary care physician or cardiologist will need to give you special instructions for stopping these medications. You may request these instructions when you have your pre-operative physical.
  • You will need to see your primary care physician one to two weeks before surgery.
  • Other medications to discuss with your primary care physician include diabetic and heart medications. Your physician should give you specific instructions on how to take these prior to your surgery.

* PDF documents require Adobe Reader.

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