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Surgery FAQ’s



Below is a list of FAQs regarding your upcoming surgery. This list has been designed to assist you in understanding the steps involved in scheduling and conducting your surgery, as well as the process of recovery with Dr. Mohab Foad.

What can I expect to happen before my surgery?

  • Foad’s surgery scheduler Ashly DeTellem will discuss with you when and where your surgical procedure will be performed. Her contact information is:
  • A patient advocate from our office may be in contact with you as well to verify that our services are “in-network” with your health insurance company and coordinate any necessary financial issues.
  • All patients are required to have medical clearance in the form of a pre-operative history and physical that must be completed by their primary care physician within 30 days of the planned procedure. Also, depending upon age and other medical conditions, some patients will also be required to complete lab work and an EKG – this will be discussed with each individual patient upon scheduling.

Where will my surgery be performed?

Dr. Foad performs surgeries at a variety of hospitals and surgical centers around the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.  In general, most procedures are done at the Beacon Summit Woods Surgery Center in Sharonville or at West Chester Hospital.  Based on certain patient needs, insurance purposes, and equipment requirements, this may be at another location as well.

What if I have paperwork that needs to be completed prior to surgery?

Please contact our office as soon as possible to ensure this can be completed prior to your surgery. Please allow 7-10 days for these to be completed.  You may drop off paperwork at the front desks of any our locations.  There is a $20 charge for all documents that need to be filled out.

Will the hospital/surgery center call me before surgery?

Yes.  You will receive a call confirming your personal information, the scheduled procedure and pre-register you for your surgery.  The nursing staff will also call 1-2 days prior to confirm the time of your surgery as well your arrival time at the facility.

Will I need any special equipment for my surgery?

Some surgeries will require special equipment like a brace or sling.  If needed, a brace company will contact you to schedule a fitting. If you receive a telephone call from this company before your surgery, please call them back. They have been given your name and telephone number from our office to make arrangements to get required equipment to you before your surgery. Most insurance companies cover most or all of the costs of the equipment. If your policy does not, they will inform you ahead of time what amount you may be responsible for.  There is also an option to purchase ice packs attached to a cooler, which can be placed under your dressings at the end of the procedure by Dr. Foad.  These are not required but recommended.

Can I take my medications before surgery?

Yes.  Most medications, especially those prescribed by a doctor and taken on a regular basis, should be continued until the night before surgery with sips of water.  A member of our nursing staff will speak with each patient specifically regarding their list of medications and advise you on what is appropriate to take the day of the procedure.  Many blood thinners need to be stopped prior to surgery, which will also be discussed with each individual patient.

Will I stay overnight in the hospital?

Almost all surgeries are done as an outpatient procedure, which means you will go home later that day after your surgery.  However, if there is a medical indication you may need to be admitted overnight, but this is rare.

What should I wear for my procedure?

We recommend that you dress in comfortable and loose fitting clothing.  The surgical dressing you have can be bulky, so please prepare for this by wearing clothes that can easily be placed over this.  If you are having surgery on the upper extremity (arm or shoulder), please wear a shirt or jacket that buttons or zips up the front rather than one that requires you to pull it over your head.  If you are having a procedure on the lower extremity (leg), please wear shorts or loose fitting pants, such as sweats.

Can I eat before surgery?

For almost all cases, the answer is NO!!!  You cannot eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your scheduled surgery.  This includes gum, mints and tobacco products as well.  If you must take some of your regular medications that day, then you may do so with just a small sip of water.  The only exception to this rule is if you are having a procedure performed under purely local anesthetic.  In that case you may eat a light meal earlier in the day.  This will be discussed with each specific patient when scheduling.

Will I need a ride?

For almost all cases, that answer is YES!!! The nursing staff and facility are required by law to ensure that you do not drive yourself home after you have been given anesthesia, sedation or pain medication.  This is why we take you out to the car in a wheelchair and make sure you get into a car with someone you know.  You cannot take a cab or bus home.  Again, the only exception to this rule is if you are having a procedure performed under purely local anesthetic.

Will I be put to sleep for surgery?

Most of the procedures performed by Dr. Foad are completed with regional anesthesia, meaning the operative limb is anesthetized.  This means that you will be kept comfortable and drowsy with IV sedation, but not under general anesthesia.  Regional anesthesia is also beneficial for pain management after surgery as well.  You will be able to discuss this with the anesthesia team prior to surgery and have input on the anesthetic you choose.

Will Dr. Foad be doing my surgery?

YES!!  Dr. Foad often has a variety of help to assist in his cases, including sports medicine/hand surgery fellows, orthopaedic surgery residents and his physician assistants, but he will be present and performing your surgical procedure.

Will Dr. Foad talk with my family and me after surgery?

Yes.  Dr. Foad will of course share all findings from the procedure.  It is not unusual, however, that you will not remember some of the activities and conversations during the day of your surgery due to the medications and anesthesia.  Dr. Foad will speak with your family as well while you are recovering to provide details and any further information.  There will also be a postoperative instruction sheet for you to take home and the nurses will review this with you prior to your discharge.

What will be done about pain control after surgery?

When you are discharged from the facility after surgery, you will be given prescriptions for a narcotic pain medication and one to help with postoperative nausea.  It is always best to take pain medicines with food because taking them on an empty stomach can make you nauseous.  Elevation of the extremity and placing ice on the surgical site will also aid in relieving post-surgical pain.  Many people experience itching when taking the pain medication.  This is not a true allergy, but a common side effect of all narcotic pain medications.  If you experience itching, you may take Benadryl, Claritin or any other antihistamine.  Please take all prescriptions as directed, as there will be NO early refills.

Can I get the dressing wet/when can I shower?

This specific topic will be discussed with you when scheduling, as well as part of your postoperative instructions by the nursing staff.  Your surgical dressings will be one of two possibilities:

  • Soft dressing only – These bandages do not contain any hard splint material and allow you to move gently. These dressings are to be kept clean and dry.  They may be removed 48 hours after your surgical procedure and all incisions can then be protected with a small band-aid.  At this point it is ok to get the incisions wet in the shower and wash gently with soap and water.  DO NOT submerge your incisions for any prolonged period of time, such as in a bathtub, hot tub or swimming pool.
  • Hard splint dressing – Many patients must be protected more rigidly and require a bandage that has a hard splint material included. This is to remain in place and should be kept clean and dry.  It will be removed at your postoperative visit with either the therapist or Dr. Foad.  Once removed, it is ok to get the incisions wet in the shower and wash gently with soap and water.  DO NOT submerge your incisions for any prolonged period of time, such as in a bathtub, hot tub or swimming pool.

When do the stitches come out?

In many scenarios, Dr. Foad uses dissolvable sutures that are underneath the skin and do not require removal; your incision will also be reinforced with topical skin glue for extra protection.  In the case where external stitches are required, they will be removed at your postoperative visit in approximately 10-14 days after your procedure.

When may I drive?

This, of course, will differ for each individual patient and is dependent on the type of injury/procedure/recovery.  In general, the answer will be that you may drive once you honestly feel safe to operate a motor vehicle AND you are not taking any narcotic pain medications.  This can be discussed in detail prior to and after your procedure.

When can I go back to work?

This too will differ for each individual patient and is dependent on the type of injury/procedure, as well as the type of work you do.  With some minor procedures, returning to work within a day or two is possible.  In certain circumstances we are ok with your return to work if your employer is able to accommodate physical restrictions and it is safe.  This specific topic can be discussed in detail prior to and after your procedure.  Many employers require documentation regarding this issue, so please remember to ask our medical staff for these notes at your scheduled appointment.

When do I see Dr. Foad after surgery?

In general, your postoperative visit to follow-up with Dr. Foad will be scheduled for approximately 10-14 days after your procedure.  Some patients will be allowed to remove their dressings at home during this time and begin light activity.  Others will be asked to visit with one of our physical therapists for dressing removal, fabrication of a removable splint and education on return to range of motion.  If therapy is needed, you can expect to meet with them either 1-2 or 3-5 days after your specific procedure.  This will be arranged and scheduled with you preoperatively.

What if I have an emergency and need to talk to someone right away?

If it is a true emergency, please call 911 immediately or present to the nearest emergency room.  If you need to talk with Dr. Foad or his staff, they can be reached at the main contact center number, (513) 354-3700.  There is a physician on-call at all times, so even after hours you will be able to contact one of the doctors.  Some examples of concerning symptoms include:

  • An entirely blood-soaked dressing
  • Fever above 102°F (it is normal to have a low-grade fever after a surgical procedure)
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Severe calf pain
  • Persistent warmth and redness near the surgical site
  • Unbearable and increasing pain
  • Severe nausea and vomiting