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Surgery Info

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Day patient

Complete forms and deliver to the support facility where your procedure is to take place at least one week prior to operation date. (Supplied by our Nurse at the time of making the booking).

Overnight/longer stay patient

Complete the appropriate forms (supplied by our nurse at the time of making the booking). Contact the pre-admission clinic within the Cairns Private as soon as possible. Attendance at the pre-admission clinic is frequently required pre-operatively. Our Nurse will also have sent a referral to the Pre-Admissions.

Cairns Private Hospital patients can complete admission forms online.


Our surgeons and nurses will discuss with you the medications that require withholding prior to surgery. These are commonly blood thinning and some diabetic medications. All vitamins and natural supplements should be stopped at least 7 days prior to surgery as these can interact with the other medications used during your procedure.

Your other regular prescription medication such as blood pressure tablets should be continued as per normal with a sip of water, even if fasting.

Admission and Fasting Details

Contact our office on 4040 6262 BETWEEN 2PM & 4PM on the business day prior to your Cairns Private Hospital procedure to confirm your admission and fasting times.

Please bring any recent x-rays/films to the procedure date.

FASTING FOR FOOD is NIL BY MOUTH 6 hours prior to your admission time.

FASTING FOR CLEAR FLUIDS is at least 2 hours prior to your admission time.

Fluids that may be drunk on the day of surgery: Sports drinks e.g. Gatorade, Staminade, or similar, apple juice. Water is okay but the above are preferable.

DO NOT DRINK - tea, coffee, milk, soft drinks or energy drinks or other juices.

Patients having previously had gastric banding or similar surgeries have to fast for food for 12 hours.


Pain Relief

As surgeries can involve some post-operative pain, pain relief is recommended. Pain relief medications such as 'Endone' and those containing 'Codeine' such as 'Panadeine Forte' may cause constipation. Increased water consumption is advised during this time. Pear juice is another alternate treatment. If constipation persists, please contact your local GP.


It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of an infected wound (surgical site) so appropriate treatment can be commenced. These signs include: increased pain, redness (around wound), swelling, heat, purulent and offensive discharge, night sweats and having flu-like symptoms. If any of these symptoms are present, contact Cairns Orthopaedic Clinic immediately on 4040 6262, or contact your GP or local emergency department if out of hours - please notify our clinic the next morning.


Dressings should be left intact until your post-operative appointment unless otherwise advised. Dressings used for most surgeries are splash proof but not waterproof. As dressing requirements are often individual, always follow the direction of the specialist or health professional given at the time of discharge.

Chest Infection

During anaesthetic and after the procedure your lungs may not fully expand which increases the risk of a chest infection developing. The aim after surgery is do exercises to open your air passages to minimise the risk of this occurring.

Deep Breathing Exercises

  • Breathe in through your nose using your chest muscles to draw air into your lungs as deeply as possible.
  • Breathe out through your mouth pushing the air out as if attempting to blow up a balloon.
  • These exercises should be done in groups of 6 breaths every hour whilst you are awake.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) & Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

DVT is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, commonly occurring in the leg veins. While you are in hospital and recuperating, your level of activity is usually far less than normal. It is also likely that you will have medication for pain that may affect your mental alertness and mobility. These factors increase the chance of a blood clot forming in the veins of your legs, which has a small risk of dislodging and travelling to your lungs. The most common time for this to occur is within the first 4 weeks after surgery.

Your surgeon may prescribe a blood thinning medication such as aspirin or clexane to minimise this risk. Additionally we suggest regular leg exercises to stimulate improved circulation by exercising the major muscle groups in your legs.

Some simple “Do's” and “Don'ts” for your recovery:

  • DON'T cross your legs while lying down or sitting in a chair. Crossing your legs slows the return of blood from your legs and this can lead to formation of clots in your legs.
  • DO carry out the exercises described below.
  • PLEASE REPORT if you develop ANY calf or leg pain, hardness, heat, redness or swelling in the back of your leg.
  • PLEASE REPORT if you have difficulty being able to take a deep breathe or find this uncomfortable, or have chest pain.

Leg Exercises

  • While lying down, point your toes down until you feel the muscles in the back of your calf tighten, then relax.
  • Following this, press the back of your knee down by pulling your toes back towards your shins to tighten the muscles on the top of your leg, then relax.
  • Raise you heel up a little and rotate it first in one direction then the other, then relax.
  • Repeat these exercises 10 times every hour while awake.

Please continue these exercises until you are fully recovered and mobile.

If elevating your leg, be sure it is from ankle to groin with nothing “pressing in” to the back of your leg thus possibly reducing blood flow from foot to body.

Blood Clot Symptoms

If you experience any of the following after your procedure, notify a health professional immediately:

  • Pain, swelling or tightness to the calf muscles in your legs
  • Pain in your lungs or chest
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breathe
  • Dizziness or fainting

If you have any of these signs after you have left hospital, telephone your doctor immediately or go straight to the Emergency Department of any hospital. Advise them of your recent surgery.

Post-Operative Appointments

Post-op appointments are in variable time frames. Please contact Cairns Orthopaedic Clinic on 4040 6262 on discharge from hospital to make your post-op appointment. If you have stitches and/or staples requiring removal, this will be done at the post-op appointment.