Life-Saving Secrets from Surgeons

By Lisa Collier Cool Oct 03, 2012 565 Recommend

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the New York Times recently reported. “The answer is no: We monitor the depth of your sleep with an EEG-like device. and why it‟s safer to avoid having an operation in July. Location Could Play a Role People who live in an area with a lot of surgeons are more than ten times more likely to be advised to have certain operations than are people in areas with fewer surgeons. he adds. But there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a bad outcome. „Will I wake up during surgery. Is LAP-BAND Weight Loss Surgery Safe? Surgery is Safer in the Morning Many surgeries take place in the morning because an operation may be lengthy and patients aren‟t supposed to eat beforehand. what they don‟t know could hurt them. including why it‟s usually scheduled in the morning. and often nervousness can wear on the patient as the day goes on. If that‟s not enough to raise your hackles. Although surgeries can take place any time of day.Health Topics » There are many mysteries about surgery. Hunger. thirst.‟” says Marc Gillinov. Another scary question: “Patients always wonder. MD. some of whom didn‟t even have heart disease. including getting a second or third opinion and exploring nonsurgical options. the best ways to avoid errors and infections. Here‟s an insider guide to what every patient should know before going under the knife. according to a study . according to a shocking Dartmouth report.” More than 15 million Americans have surgery annually. patients have fewer problems with anesthesia in the morning compared to the afternoon. author of Heart 411 and a heart surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. Fortunately. consider this: one hospital chain was shown to perform unnecessary heart surgery on patients. and in some cases.

m. making it the most dangerous time to have surgery. pain management problems. some hospitals have begun using radio frequency tags to alert surgeons if sponges are left inside the patients. “The operating team must be mandated to perform all of the safety measures on this check list before and after every procedure. Ken Waxman. Director of Quality at Ventura County Healthcare Agency recommends that facilities use surgical checklists.” he advises. To address the issue. Researchers looked at data from over 90. The Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures Watch Out for the “July Effect” Experts also caution patients to watch out for the “July Effect.000 operations and found that nausea and vomiting after surgery.published in Quality and Safety in Health Care. Surgical sponges and other tools (including scalpels and clamps) have been left inside of patients. Surgical Errors Happen Dr.” That‟s because July is the worst month for fatal hospital errors. including those of 244. If not. causing infections and other complications. Researchers from University of California at San Diego reviewed more than 62 U.388 people who were killed by medical mistakes and found that the rate of errors was similar in most months but peaked in July at teaching hospitals. Other hospitals use bar codes and scan sponges before they are used and after . don't have your operation at that hospital. million death certificates issued between 1979 and 2006.S. The main reason is that July is when inexperienced.m. such as the list published by the World Health Organization. compared to those which began at 9 a. MD FACS. and other post-operative complications were four times as likely in operations which started at 4 p. often sleep-deprived medical school graduates start residencies at teaching hospitals.

a national project to prevent retained surgical items.” he said. Maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle prior to the day you are scheduled to go. cause a lot of bleeding issues. fish oil and St. you should stop drinking prior to the surgery” for at least two weeks. says Dr. If you‟re a drinker. Sinai School of Medicine. Johns Wort. “Don‟t rely on the surgery to „fix‟ all your problems. who is affiliated with Mt. To prevent this. Another concern is that surgeons will operate on the wrong limb. told the New York Times that technology should be used in addition to counting sponges manually. Strauss. Don't Have Surgery if You're Sick This may seem contradictory. Gillinov. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. “If you‟re a smoker. The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs on the Market . Recovery is always better with patients in optimal health. “Today many patients take over-the-counter drugs and supplements that can complicate surgery. echoes the sentiment. Patients don‟t think about these drugs as being a problem.” Some patients even write “wrong leg” in magic marker on the limb that doesn‟t need surgery.they are removed. but Dr. Elton Strauss. The 10 Best Weight Loss iPhone and Android Apps OTC Supplements Can Cause Problems “I think it‟s important to make sure you are honest with your physician prior to the surgery about the medications you take. Vitamin E. He also recommends increasing water intake for two weeks. Gibbs of NoThing Left Behind. to name just a few. emphasizes the importance of coming into surgery in good health. but they are. you should stop smoking.” says Dr. Say something like “Thank you for fixing my left knee. “Restate the operation.” he says. Dr. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Director of Pain Management. Scott Gottlieb.

Tarrytown.J. and my recovery was excellent. You would not believe how many patients present for surgery in a filthy condition and then wonder why they experience post-op infections!” he groused.-based book author Caitlin Kelly. recommends taking hygiene precautions after surgery as well to guard against infection. who recently had hip replacement surgery.Y. make sure that staff members wash their hands and don fresh gloves in your presence before touching you. de Lotbinière recommends washing up before checking in--and has another surprising suggestion. “We bought a bottle of hexachloride solution (the same stuff surgeons use to wash their hands before surgery). In addition. .” she reports.” “The visiting nurse was very impressed with our thoroughness (in home wound care).Take a Shower Neurosurgeon Alain C. “A very simple thing to prepare for surgery is to shower the day of the procedure with an anti-bacterial soap. N.

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