For a downloadable PDF of Post-Operative Instructions Following Shoulder Arthroscopy click here.
After General Anesthesia
1. Do not drive, operate machinery, consume alcohol, tranquilizers or sign legal documents for 24 hours or as long as you are taking narcotic pain medication.
2. Do not plan on going to work or school today, go home and rest.
3. Begin with clear fluids and light foods and then progress your diet as tolerated. It is usually best to avoid heavy, greasy or spicy food the day of surgery.
4. Narcotics cause constipation, so increase the amount of fluids you drink along with fiber and fruit in your diet. Some over the counter medications to prevent or treat constipation are Metamucil, Citrucel, Colace, and DDS. You can also drink warm prune juice.
5. It is important to eat some food every time you take narcotic pain medications (even in the middle of the night). If you don’t, you are more likely to have nausea. Usually a few crackers, some pudding, applesauce or a banana will suffice.
6. Some anesthetics can cause urinary retention. If you are having trouble emptying your bladder or have not urinated for eight hours after the anesthetic please call Dr. Khalfayan.
7. You can always reach Dr. Khalfayan - day or night by calling 206-386-2600. After hours, the answering service will page Dr. Khalfayan.
Dressings and Incision care
1. Keep the dressings on until your 1st post op visit. We will take out your stitches and get x-rays if needed at this time. Physical therapy typically starts after this visit.
2. You may shower, please remove the sling or shoulder immobilizer to do so. Keep your arm at your side while it is out of the sling or shoulder immobilizer.
3. The dressings are waterproof. If your dressings are disrupted in any fashion and are no longer waterproof, please do not get the incisions wet. You may replace them using waterproof Band-Aids (you can find them in pharmacies, Safeway, or QFC).
1. Apply ice or cooling pad for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours while awake to help with pain and swelling. Do not ice continuously.
2. You may remove the sling or shoulder immobilizer several times daily to move the elbow, wrist, and fingers so they do not become stiff. Use your other arm to move the elbow up and down. Do not move the shoulder unless instructed to.
3. Sleeping after shoulder surgery is difficult. Sleeping in a partially reclined position as in a recliner or propped up on pillows seems to work the best.
1. Once you are released from the surgery center, start taking the pain medication on a regular schedule. When the pain is well controlled, take the pain medication as needed.
2. It is best to take the pain medication at the earliest sign of pain instead of waiting for it to worsen. The medication works best if your shoulder is elevated above your heart and swelling is kept to a minimum.
3. If you are running low on your medication please contact Dr. Khalfayan Monday-Friday 9am -5pm at 206-386-2600, dial 0 and ask for his assistant, Devan. If you wait until the end of the day you may not get a refill that day. Please do not wait until Friday afternoon, as we may not be able to fill your prescription until Monday. Over the weekend, the on-call physician WILL NOT CALL IN MEDICATION REFILLS. Percocet cannot be called in to your pharmacy; you will need to have someone pick up a written prescription.
4. DO NOT take Aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve or Naprosyn) unless specifically told by Dr. Khalfayan.
Symptoms to report immediately
1. Excessive bleeding or draining, especially bright red bleeding that soaks all the way through your dressing (some bleeding or pinkish drainage is common).
2. Excessive swelling not relieved by rest, elevation, and ice.
3. Excessive or unbearable pain (unable to sleep, eat or hold a conversation)
4. Itching accompanied by hives, welts or a rash, which may be an allergic reaction.
5. Flu-like symptoms (nausea, general body aches, chills, or a temperature over 101 degrees) for longer than 24 hours may be a sign of infection.
6. If you experience shortness of breath or chest pain CALL 911