Dr. Tucker’s mission is to be a caring and skilled physician and surgeon. She aims to provide successful outcomes for every patient, and takes a holistic approach to treatment. A complete history and physical exam will be performed for every patient prior to recommending any sort of treatment. She looks at the whole picture, not the individual problem or x-ray findings.
Dr. Tucker spends a lot of time with patients! Because of this, as well as the challenging environment and the number of patients Dr. Tucker sees, the office may run behind schedule. Be prepared for this, and bring a book, e-book, or magazine with you.
Because of her experience with gold standard and technologically advanced procedures, Dr. Tucker will present you with options when it comes to surgical care.
Before your surgery, you will receive a phone call from the hospital or surgery center regarding preoperative instructions. Listen very carefully and take notes; you may be surprised at how much you can forget when you are a little anxious. It is difficult to address (or remember) everything, so here are a few items that will make your surgery go as smoothly as possible:
Pre Op Instructions
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to your surgery. You may drink small amounts of clear liquids up to two hours before your surgery time if you were instructed to take medication prior to your procedure. This is important because when you are under anesthesia in the operating room, things from your stomach can work their way up and back “down the wrong way” into your lungs. This is called aspiration. If you think you might forget, post a note to yourself in the kitchen or on the faucets. You might even go as far as taping the refrigerator shut! Unfortunately, if you eat or drink after the deadlines, your surgery will have to be postponed.
- Make sure that your primary care physician and any other necessary physicians have completed your preoperative medical evaluation. We want to make sure that you are as healthy as possible for your surgery.
- You will be called 1 to 2 days before surgery and told what time to arrive. Usually you are asked to arrive as early as 2 hours prior to your surgery time. This will allow time to get everything in order. Please allow enough time for traffic; if you arrive late, your surgery might have to be rescheduled for later in the day or another day.
- You MUST arrange for someone to drive you home. You will be given at least some kind of narcotic or sedative (sleepy medicine) before, during, and/or after the operation. It is unsafe for you to drive or take public transportation. If you arrive without arrangements for a ride home, your surgery will have to be rescheduled. The only exception to this is for patients who are scheduled for only local anesthetic.
- If we talked about you starting hand therapy within a few days of your surgery, make sure you call them BEFORE your surgery to set up an appointment; insurance sometimes take several days to process authorization for therapy, so the sooner you arrange it, the better.
- Ideally, your questions were answered in the office when we discussed the nature of your problem, your options, the surgical procedure we are planning, and the risks of surgery. We will see each other in the preoperative holding area just prior to surgery, and I can answer any of your last-minute questions then. I know that having surgery can be very scary; I have been there myself. We will address whatever concerns you might have.
Apart from the specific instructions given to you depending on the type of surgery you have undergone, the basic general instructions that you should follow after your surgery are as follows:
- Take pain-relieving and other medications as advised. Pain-relieving medication should be taken with food. After the first 48 hours of surgery, take the pain medication only when needed.
- Do not drink alcohol, drive a vehicle, operate any machinery or sign a legal document for the first 24 hours after the surgery as the effects of the sedative and/or the anesthesia administered during the surgery may last for up to 24 hours after your surgery.
- Your swelling will peak around the second day after your surgery. You will want to elevate the arm where your elbow is at the level of your heart and your wrist is above your elbow. However, make sure that the ice bag does not leak into the dressing. Ice packs can be used liberally for the first 48 hours and even later, if required.
- Follow specific activity restrictions as advised. Remember that it is easier to prevent developing pain than manage it once it has already developed. Rest for a few days after the surgery and keep the operated extremity elevated, above the level of your heart, to control swelling.
- Keep the dressing clean and dry to promote wound healing.
- You will be evaluated for occupational or physical therapy at your first post op appointment unless otherwise instructed. Until you see me, please rest and keep your activities limited to those required for daily living. It is ok to wiggle your fingers or move joints that are not immobilized. If you have any issues with your splint or bandages, please let us know as we can address them in the office and save you from a long wait in the ER
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. If you had surgery for a fracture, it is a good idea to take a calcium and vitamin D supplement. I recommend 4 Viactiv chews per day.
- Your first post op appointment was scheduled when your surgical date was chosen. If you need to change your appointment date, please call Jada at 561.733.5888 ext 111 and we will make every arrangement to accommodate your needs
Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Increased redness around the operated area
- Increased swelling that does not decrease with ice and elevation
- Foul odor
- Fever greater than 101°F
- Coldness, numbness, or blanched white or bluish color of the fingers or toes
- Sudden calf pain or shortness of breath
- Chest pain