Before Surgery

Pre-Operative Packet

After you schedule surgery you will receive a pre-operative packet of information. This will tell you:

  • How to get to the hospital or surgery center
  • What time you should arrive
  • What type of pre-operative medical evaluation you should have performed.

I will recommend a series of laboratory tests that you should have before surgery. Usually there is blood work and an EKG. In some instances I would request that you get medical clearance from your internist or cardiologist. I do this to make sure that there is minimal chance of a problem that could occur with your anesthetic. At the time of your surgery you will speak with the anesthesiologist, either in the hospital or in the surgery center. I will ensure that the anesthesiologist will have copies of your pre-operative lab tests and evaluations.

You must not eat or drink anything for 8 hours prior to your surgery.

Pre-Operative Considerations

You will have had a thorough discussion about your condition and the treatment options before surgery is scheduled. There are very rare orthopaedic conditions that are emergencies – that is, if they are not treated with immediate surgery you will lose your life or limb. There are some infections and fractures that require urgent surgery for the optimal outcome, and if you have one of those conditions it will be impressed on you the importance of choosing surgical treatment.

Most conditions I treat do not fall into those categories, and surgical treatment can be performed electively. Elective surgery means that you can elect to do it, or you can elect to not do it. If you elect to have surgery, you can also elect when to do it. Elective surgery does not mean that the surgery is cosmetic, or unreasonable to do, or that your insurance company will object to your choosing to have it done.

When you are considering elective surgery, you should really exhaust the non-surgical treatment options first. Surgery should be the last choice. You really are better off if you can get relief of your problem without surgery. However, if you have tried the variety of non-surgical treatments and you are not satisfied, then it is appropriate to consider surgery. The final decision about proceeding with surgery rests with you.

Elective surgery can be scheduled at a time that is optimal for you. It is always best to anticipate a longer time of recovery than a shorter time. You should consider work and family obligations when you are making a decision about timing for surgery. Please also consider how foot surgery may affect your ability to drive a car. You will often need to make arrangements for routine transportation when you are recovering from surgery.

Because there is no rush, it is always possible to get other opinions before scheduling elective surgery. I have no objection to any patient seeking second opinions, and I'll be happy to release any radiographic studies you may require to get other opinions. If you get another opinion, and decide to have surgery done by another physician, I will have no objections. It will not "hurt my feelings" if you seek treatment elsewhere. I want you to feel comfortable about your treatment, and if you feel that can best be provided by another practitioner that is fine with me.


It is always possible to have a complication occur as the result of surgery. Complications can generally be treated satisfactorily, and the treatment is usually easiest if the problem is identified early rather than late. This is why I emphasize the need for you to call the office if you have any questions after surgery. When you are considering having surgery, you must be aware of the possibility of a complication occurring.

Further Information

  • Day of Surgery
  • Anesthesia
  • After Inpatient Surgery
  • After Outpatient Surgery
  • Complications from Surgery
  • Infection After Surgery
  • Pain After Surgery
  • Prescription Refills

George Lian, M.D.

2801 K Street, Suite #500
Sacramento, CA 95816

Have Questions?
Phone: (916) 732-3340 

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