Hopefully, you will never require the services of an Orthopaedic Surgeon. However, life has a habit of throwing up challenges so here's an overview of the process:
1. You have an injury. 2. You see a GP, General Practitioner, either in a medical centre or, in case of severe injury or emergency, you may see an Emergency Doctor, in a hospital. GPs have numerous treatments at their disposal, including:
Medication (including pain killers or anti-inflammatories)
X-rays or ultrasound
3. If none of this helps, you should return to your GP and check they have nothing more to offer you. 4. Your GP may refer you to an Orthopaedic Surgeon. You are more than welcome to make an appointment With Dr Coll without a referral from a GP, you just won't be able to claim any financial benefits from Medicare for that appointment. 5. If you have a current WorkCover claim, you should bring your claim number. 6. The Orthopaedic Surgeon will spend about 20 - 30 minutes with you, depending on your type of injury. They will ask you a number of questions and will examine the relevant part of your body. They may request further imaging. 7. You may require surgery. This will be booked in advance and explained to you. On the day of surgery, you will sign a consent form, showing you agree to have the procedure done.
What to expect from your Day in Surgery with Dr Sarah Coll
Steps that you will go through on the day your of surgery:
When you arrive at the hospital, the receptionist will take down your personal information.
You will be introduced to your nurse and allocated a bed.
After a variable period of waiting, you will be wheeled to the operating theatre.
The Anaesthetist is the specialist who keeps you asleep while the surgeon operates. He or she will introduce themselves and check your general health. At this stage you can ask the Anaesthetist any questions relating to the anaesthetic, and your post-operative pain relief.
Dr Sarah Coll will come and see you, and draw a large arrow on the arm or leg requiring surgery. She will also ask if you have any last minute questions, and will check that you have your X-Rays with you.
You will then be wheeled into theatre and placed on the operating table.
The Anaesthetist will place a small needle in the back of your hand to administer the medication which will keep you asleep while Dr Coll operates.
The next thing you will be aware of is waking up in the Recovery Room. A nurse will be standing by your bed, ready to assist you.
Once you are more alert, you will be transferred to the ward where you will be cared for by a nurse, who usually looks after another 3-5 patients.
Dr Coll will see you in the ward either that afternoon or the following morning, and will tell you about your surgery. Not all patients remember this, however, so Dr Coll will see you again 7 days later to discuss your surgery, remove sutures and to check your wound.
All patients receive Dr Coll's mobile phone number and she can be contacted directly about any emergencies. Otherwise, during office hours, please ring the office.
How to recover best from surgery, begins before you enter the hospital. 1. General health check - your GP can check your general health to make sure you are in the best possible shape prior to surgery. 2. Diet - a diet which is high in vegetables and protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, pulses) is a good idea. 3. Sugar - avoid sugar prior to surgery, and get your blood sugars checked if you are borderline diabetic. 4. Smoke - don't smoke for 4 weeks prior to surgery to reduce your risk of death under anaesthetic and infection after surgery. 5. Exercise - if you are able to exercise prior to surgery, then your heart and lung function will cope better with the stress of surgery.
Some useful information can be found here: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/joint-surgery/preparing/prehab-surgery.php