Before Your Surgery

At the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, you can approach your surgery with confidence knowing that we perform more ACL reconstructions, rotator cuff repairs, arthroscopic knee procedures, and carpal tunnel surgeries than any other hospital in Southeastern Wisconsin.

OHOW is the only free-standing hospital in the region fully dedicated to orthopaedic care, performing more than 10,000 procedures each year. So many people choose us because of our proven skill and outcomes, but also because they want a superior experience provided by a team whose compassion matches our expertise.

Your Peace of Mind Is Our Top Priority

We understand that pre-surgery anxiety is natural, and we go above and beyond to put your mind at ease.

What sets us apart:

  • We give you as much time as you need, pre-surgery, to direct questions and concerns to your anesthesiologist, surgeon and nurses.
  • We start work with you days in advance of your surgery – not just the day of – to ensure you feel confident about every aspect of your procedure, from anesthesia to post-surgery comfort measures.
  • Our pre-op area is designed specifically for your comfort before surgery. Our patients tell us that this calming environment makes a huge difference
  • You walk to surgery with your nurse, unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so. It’s a component of our healthy patient philosophy: you are part of our team.
  • You will have an opportunity to chat with your surgical team in the operating room prior to surgery – just another way to put your mind at ease.

Pre-Surgery Instructions

  • One to Four Weeks before Surgery

    • You will complete a brief questionnaire to provide your medical history as well as phone numbers for your other doctors and your pharmacy.
    • Depending on your medical history and procedure, you may need an appointment with pre-operative team to further review your medical history, to identify any possible complications.
  • Two Days before Surgery (based on your procedure)

    Follow Hibiclens Instructions, if indicated:

    • Apply half a bottle of Hibiclens (CHG) soap to your body below the neck.
    • Scrub gently for five minutes with special attention to the surgical site, turning the water off to avoid rinsing the soap off too soon.
    • Do not apply directly to your genital area and take care to avoid eyes and ear canal.
    • Rinse thoroughly after the soap has been applied to your skin for five minutes.
    • Pat yourself dry with a clean towel.
  • Day before Surgery

    • Wash your hair and face with the soap you normally use.
    • Do not shave your surgical area.
    • Repeat the cleansing steps from previous day, using the remainder of the Hibiclens (CHG) soap if indicated.
    • After showering, do not apply lotion, deodorant, perfume, or any other product to your hair, face or skin.
    • Wear clean night clothes.
    • Do not apply any products to your hair (including oils, gels, and sprays) and body.
    • Do not eat anything after midnight, including food, candy, and gum unless otherwise instructed. Not following these instructions may cause your procedure to be canceled.
  • Day of Surgery

    You will check in in the registration area, located on the hospital’s second floor. On surgery day, please remember:

    • It is mandatory to bring your insurance card and photo ID, as well as any forms given to you by your doctor.
    • Bring X-rays, or devices (braces, splints, crutches, walker, etc.) given to you by your doctor.
    • Do not eat anything on the day prior to your surgery including food, candy, and gum unless otherwise instructed. Not following these instructions may cause your procedure to be canceled.
    • If the pre-admission nurse determines whether you should take your routine medication(s) prior to surgery, it must be taken with a sip of water only.
    • If you require anesthesia for your surgery, it is mandatory you are accompanied by a friend or family member to and from the hospital. Please arrange your transportation prior to the day of surgery.
    • You must remove all hairpins, makeup, jewelry, false eyelashes prior to surgery. Based on your procedure, artificial nails and nail polish may need to be removed.
    • Please wear loose-fitting clothing on surgery day.