General Procedures

Procedures that require general anaesthetic, such as scaphoid non-union and suture repairs (skier’s thumb), are commonly performed at Southern Cross Hospital on Bealey Ave. Your date will be scheduled in advance, and whether you are required to stay overnight or not will depend on your specific treatment.

  • The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic so you will need to stop eating the night before your surgery. You may take prescribed medication the morning of surgery, but only with a small sip of water.
  • If you are on Warfarin or Dabigatran, you will need to stop 48 hours before your surgery and recommence the medication 24 hours after your surgery. Please discuss with your surgeon if you have any concerns.
  • Please advise us of any allergies you may have.
  • Driving is not recommended after your surgery so you will need to organise a chaperone.

Before coming for your surgery

  • Clean your hands thoroughly, paying attention to dirt under your nails. This is especially important if you have been working outside or with grease and other dirty substances.
  • Remove any jewelry from your fingers.
  • Organise time off from work. If you are receiving ACC compensation and/or medical certificates, we can advise how many days you should require.

After your surgery: what to expect

Immediately following your operation you will have your pulse, blood pressure, breathing and wounds checked regularly by a nurse. You will be given oxygen through a face mask as you are awaking, it is usual to feel drowsy for several hours.

Anaesthetics can make people feel sick. Your nurse may offer you medication if the feeling does not go away. You will have a drip running into a vein in your arm/hand until you are eating solids and drinking normally again.

Bone grafts

If you have had a bone graft taken to repair a bone, it’s likely that the location the bone was taken from (usually the top of the hip) is more painful than your repaired wound. You should take care when moving and keep the wound from getting wet.

Important information

You cannot drive or go home by public transport after surgery. Therefore, you must make arrangements for someone to collect you. It is not appropriate to go home unaccompanied in a taxi. The anaesthetic drugs remain in your body for 24 hours and during this time are gradually excreted from the body. You are under the influence of drugs during this time and therefore there are certain things that you should and should not do.

You should

  • Ensure that a responsible adult stays at home with you for 24 hours.
  • Rest quietly at home for the rest of the day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but not too much tea or coffee.
  • Avoid greasy or heavy food as this may cause you to feel sick.
  • Have a lie in the next day. It could take 2 – 3 days before the weariness wears off and you could suffer lapses in concentration for up to a week.

For at least 24 hours after your operation you must not:

  • Lock yourself in a bathroom or make yourself inaccessible to the person looking after you.
  • Operate any domestic appliances or machinery.
  • Drink alcohol.
  • Make any important decisions or sign any important documents.
  • Be responsible for looking after small children.

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