Preparing for Surgery
Before any treatment can be determined, your physician evaluates your problem. The evaluation: reviews your medical history; includes a physical examination that may look for swelling, tenderness, joint stability, range of motion, and questions about symptoms; may require diagnostic testing such as a routine X-ray of bones, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for soft tissue analysis, or an arthrogram.
A nurse from One Day Surgery will review specific pre-operative instructions in advance of the procedure. Your doctor will request appropriate tests. Don't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. Smoking is discouraged.
Minimally invasive procedures
Beyond preferring a technique that leaves a minimal scar, doesn't hurt as much and gives you a jumpstart back to a normal life, patients who have elected surgery to improve their mobility or quality of life receive comprehensive care right on the unit. This care includes an orientation before surgery, including pre-operative education that helps patients and family members understand what to expect before, during and after the procedure. Our patients play a very active role in their own recovery.
Our multidisciplinary team of specially trained physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, rehabilitation specialists, physical therapists, case managers and surgical technicians assist patients with the on-site, initial rehab phase, individual physical therapy, education and post-hospital care. A great emphasis is placed on rapidly regaining the normal activities of daily living.
Whether a prospective patient is a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery is based on many critical factors, starting with the physical characteristics and health of the candidate and the extent of the medical problem.
Not all surgeries can be performed with smaller incisions, but New Milford Hospital is committed to offering minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible to help minimize pain and reduce recovery time.
Total joint replacement
Many patients needing a joint replacement aren't "sick" and choose to have their elective surgery at New Milford Hospital following an injury or normal wear-and-tear that is causing pain to the knee, shoulder or hip. Our surgeons, nurses and other staff offer a high level of expertise, as well as the amenities of the Center for Orthopedics and Joint Replacement. The Center offers private rooms with daybeds and a convenient family lounge to help patients achieve maximum functional mobility with help from our team of experts. Knee and hip replacements are considered major surgery, but new advances now allow many of these surgeries to be done with minimally invasive techniques.
Patients who have elected surgery to improve their mobility or quality of life receive comprehensive care right at the Center. This care begins with an orientation before surgery, including pre-operative education that helps patients and family members understand what to expect before, during and after the joint replacement procedure. Our patients play a very active role in their own recovery.
Our multidisciplinary team of specially trained physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, rehabilitation specialists, physical therapists, case managers and orthopedic technicians assist patients with the on-site, initial rehab phase, post-hospital care, individual physical therapy, and education. A great emphasis is placed on rapidly regaining the normal activities of daily living.
Arthroscopy provides an effective, state-of-the-art technique for diagnosing and treating joint problems. It enables your orthopedic surgeon to look directly into joint areas using an arthroscope.
The arthroscope is a slender, fiber-optic instrument with a tiny camera that is inserted into the joint area. Arthroscopic technology is so effective, your problem may be diagnosed and treated at the same time. In many cases, arthroscopic surgery can be performed as one-day surgery.
At New Milford Hospital, we specialize in shoulder, knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist arthroscopy, as well as arthroscopic carpal tunnel surgery.
During the arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon makes a few small incisions around the joint area. A sterile fluid is infused in one of the incisions to expand the joint. This makes it easier to see inside. The surgeon inserts the arthroscope through another incision to examine the type or degree of damage to the joint area. If possible, the surgeon will treat the problem using precision surgical instruments.
Laparoscopy is at the diagnostic and surgical forefront of surgical care available today. As with any surgery, there are certain risks, but laparoscopy enables your surgeon to perform operative procedures more efficiently. In addition, it offers you the benefits of a reduced hospital stay and easier recovery period.
It enables your surgeon to see clearly into your abdomen and pelvis by inserting a slender, light-containing, fiber-optic "telescope" attached to a camera. This allows the surgeon to do surgical procedures with incisions that are smaller than those used in conventional surgery. In many cases, laparoscopic surgery can be performed as One Day Surgery.
At New Milford Hospital, laparoscopic surgery is often used for hernia, gallbladder, appendectomy, bowel surgery, and certain gynecological surgery. It offers many benefits over traditional open surgery: less pain, shorter hospitalization, faster recovery, and small incision marks instead of a long scar.
Follow up visits with your doctor should occur after all laparoscopic surgery.
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery
Your physician will give you a thorough examination and recommend appropriate diagnostic tests. Smoking is discouraged before surgery. Smoker's cough strains the surgical area and restricts the flow of blood. You'll receive an anesthetic and medications. Then, to help the doctor see, a gas (carbon dioxide) is used to inflate your abdomen. Your doctor will perform surgery looking at a clear picture of your gallbladder and the surrounding tissue on a video monitor. The surgery usually takes one to three hours. You will probably go home the same day.
Laparoscopic hernia repair
A hernia may form in a weak abdominal wall. Sometimes there's a bulge, but not always. You may feel a burning or tingling sensation. Your physician will determine the condition of the hernia with a thorough examination. When surgery is necessary, laparoscopic hernia repair usually takes one or two hours.
Before surgery, avoid heavy lifting and smoking. Smoker's cough strains the hernia and restricts the flow of blood. You'll receive a general anesthetic causing you to sleep without pain throughout the procedure. Three or four tiny incisions are made near your navel to insert the laparoscope and instruments.
Laparoscopy for gynecological issues
Laparoscopy provides a direct look at the pelvic organs that can't be seen by pelvic exams, x-rays, or pelvic ultrasound. Some of the uses of laparoscopy in the abdominal or pelvic region include removing pelvic adhesions or cysts; infertility evaluation; treating pelvic pain; assisting vaginal hysterectomy and performing a tubal sterilization. Before surgery, avoid smoking, because a smoker's cough strains the surgical area and restricts the flow of blood. You'll receive a general anesthetic causing you to sleep without pain throughout the procedure. Usually, an incision of a half-inch or less is made near your navel to insert the laparoscope. The surgery may require one or more additional small incisions, which will be covered by band-aids after surgery.
Our operating suites incorporate the latest technological advances in patient safety and comfort. All our anesthesiologists are board-certified and use the most modern and sophisticated anesthesia equipment, techniques and drugs available. Nursing in the perioperative or operating room setting is guided by the standards of care established by the Association of Operating Room Nurses, as well as regulatory agencies. New Milford Hospital's operating room nurses are committed to excellence in providing care of mind, body and spirit of both patients and their families. Certified surgical technologists complement the operative team by providing expert surgical assistance to the surgeon.
Surgical expertise is available 24 hours a day. A fully staffed operating room team is always on call for emergency procedures.
The post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), often referred to as the recovery room, offers skilled individualized patient care to all patients who have had general, spinal, intravenous, and local anesthesia. Pain management is considered a top patient care priority.
This recovery area is staffed and equipped as a critical care unit and capable of caring for patients who have undergone extensive surgical procedures. The PACU nursing staff is compliant in following all standards set by the American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses. Many of our nurses are certified in this specialty.
You will receive specific instructions to follow once you are home. Arrange for someone to pick you up after surgery and to help you at home. It's important to rest and follow simple exercises that are recommended.
You may need physical therapy to help you make a smoother recovery. Returning to work or other activities should be discussed with your doctor. Your recovery depends a lot on you. Full recuperation generally takes from 4-6 weeks depending on your condition.
For more information, please call One Day Surgery at (860) 210-5230, or our physician referral service, if you need a doctor, at 1-800-585-7198.
New Milford Hospital's board-certified anesthesiologists offer effective pain management options. Before your procedure begins, you will receive local, regional, or general anesthesia, or a block. You must arrange for someone to pick you up after surgery, and should make advance arrangements for family and friends to help you at home.