Outpatient Surgery: What to Expect
Outpatient surgery is done in one day, usually taking anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for the surgery itself. You will arrive at the center one to two hours before your procedure, have the surgery, spend a few more hours in recovery and go home the same day. Regardless of the type of procedure you have done, outpatient surgery for the foot and ankle will follow along these general lines.
In some cases, you'll be given an exercise regimen to strengthen muscles around the joint prior to surgery.
For outpatient surgery wear loose fitting clothing to allow for bulky dressings over the surgical site.
- You may be asked to change into a gown.
- While you are waiting for the procedure to begin, you'll be given a mild sedative to relax you. Cloths will be draped so that only the foot and ankle injection area is exposed. The rest of you will be covered.
- Depending on the complexity of the surgery, you'll be given regional or local anesthesia.
You'll be moved to a recovery area to wait for the sedation and anesthesia to wear off. Your vital signs will continue to be monitored.
- Your surgeon will stop by and to discuss the procedure and to give additional instructions for your recovery.
- Depending on your procedure, it may take several days for the incision wounds to heal and several weeks for the joint to fully recover.
- You may need to return to the doctor's office to have the stitches taken out in about a week.
- After the surgery, you should feel significantly better. While you may feel great, the foot or ankle still needs time to heal, so be careful not to overdo it. Follow your surgeon's recovery instructions.
- Your surgeon may prescribe physical therapy at one of the Riverside Therapy Centers to strengthen your joint's supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments.