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Surgery Day & Going Home


You will be asked to empty your bladder.
Any glasses, contacts, hearing aids, or dentures will be removed before surgery and returned

after surgery.
Advanced directives will be noted.
You will have your vital signs checked (Vital signs are your heart beat rate (pulse), breathing

rate, body temperature, and blood pressure).
Your operative site will be prepped and the surgeon will review the procedure. An intravenous (IV) line will be started to give you fluids and medication.


The anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will talk with you about the types of anesthesia used during surgery.

*General Anesthesia puts you to sleep following an injection of medications into your IV. You will not feel pain and will be completely asleep throughout your surgery.

*Regional Anesthesia numbs a part of your body with an injection of local anesthetic. For total joint replacement surgery of the knee and hip, regional anesthesia may involve injections into your back or around the nerves in your leg or hip. You will be awake but will not feel any pain.

Remember to tell the anesthesiologist (or nurse anesthetist) if you prefer to be asleep or want to stay awake. They often make recommendations, but ultimately it is your choice.


Your surgery takes about one to three hours to complete. After surgery, Dr Vaux will call your family or friends to inform them of your successful joint replacement!


When your joint replacement surgery is complete, you will spend time in a post anesthesia care unit (PACU). This is an area in the facility that allows you to recover from your surgery. If your surgery is at the hospital, you will then be transferred to a room where nurses will care for you. If you are having outpatient/ same-day discharge surgery, you will work with a therapist or a nurse right away to get out of bed to a chair and then start walking. If you have stairs at home, this may include practicing walking up and down stairs.

Before you are ready to go home, you will complete the following:

  • Be safe walking with crutches or a walker

  • Feel good enough to eat solid food and drink liquids with no nausea or vomiting

  • Not have any dizziness or drowsiness

  • Urinate without difficulty before leaving

  • Have stable vitals signs such as blood pressure and heart rate

  • Have pain well controlled with oral pain medicine

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