The day of your surgery.
On the day of your surgery:
~ Prior to your operation, the surgeon usually will explain to you or your immediate family once again, at what level amputation you will receive.
~ You will be asked to sign a “consent form” giving your surgeon permission to operate.
~ You will be asked to remove your jewelry such as rings, necklaces and bracelets or any other objects that may interfere with your surgery.
~ You will be asked to remove your clothing and will be given a hospital gown to wear.
~ In most cases, an IV will be started before you go back into the O.R., your limb will be shaved and prepped for surgery. Most physicians will prescribe some medicine to help you relax and to remove some of the normal anxiety experienced right before surgery. Generally, this will be given to you by a nurse.
~ In some cases, a urinary catheter (a thin, narrow tube) may be inserted into your bladder to drain urine. Most times this is done after you are under anesthesia.
~ A sterile bandage or dressing will be applied to your limb. The type of dressing used will vary according to the surgery that was performed.
~ In some operations a drainage tube is placed in the area of your amputation to remove excess fluid. Generally, this tube is removed 24 to 48 hours after surgery.
~ After the surgery, you will go to the recovery room and spend several hours there, until you are awake and your vital signs (BP, Pulse, Respirations) are stable enough to return to your room. Upon returning to your room your nurses will be checking on you regularly throughout the day. It is important for you to remember that an amputation is considered major surgery and you will experience some pain. Your doctor will have already left orders with your nurse for pain control.
~ It is difficult to predict what your pain level will be on the day of your surgery. People have a wide tolerance for pain. Think about how you have tolerated pain in the past and you may have some insight to how you will experience your pain on the day of your surgery. Your pain may be real, from the actual amputation and/or it may be phantom pain. For instance, your toe may hurt even though your lower leg has been removed. (Be sure to read about phantom pain here on this website.) You need to report to the nursing staff any pain you have in your residual limb and take the prescribed medications regularly.
This list is not intended to be an all inclusive list. If you have actual knowledge to other items not mentioned please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org for posting consideration.