How to prepare for bunion surgery (bunionectomy)?

Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure that treats bunion, a foot deformity that forms at the base of the big toe and unites with the first metatarsal bone of the foot.

The bunion is not a life-threatening condition. However, it can severely impact a person’s lifestyle since it can be a source of excruciating pain and discomfort. Many people avoid seeing a podiatrist because they feel scared. Still, after suffering long enough, they decide to put a stop to the torturing pain finally.

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The bunion surgery, or bunionectomy, is one of the most effective treatment options for the bunion. It’s an outpatient procedure that removes the bump and narrows the foot. It’s a simple procedure that allows the patient to leave the hospital on the same day. 

Even though the bunion surgery is relatively simple and straightforward, it’s natural for patients to wonder about the steps that follow the procedure. To ensure a safe experience, patients must thoroughly go through medical examinations. Moreover, the preparation period also includes a few simple actions that provide a comfortable recovery experience.  

What happens before the bunion surgery?

Before bunion surgery, patients go through preoperative testing. The patient’s medical history typically guides the nature of the testing. Still, as a standard protocol, the tests include the following:

  • An electrocardiogram 
  • Blood and urine testing
  • An X-ray of the chest  
  • An X-ray of the foot

Once the patient has met all medical requirements, the next step is to prepare the home. One of the most common recommendations is to set up an accessible space that is clear of clutter and hazards. The free space creates a more comfortable environment for patients while getting around with crutches or knee scooter. 

What happens after the bunion surgery?

Depending on the complexity of the bunion surgery, patients may be able to start walking shortly after the surgery, or they may need to stay off their foot for up to six weeks. However, both cases include a period where the patient must refrain from putting weight on foot to prevent the loss of the bunion correction and to allow the swelling, if any, to come down. 

Since the surgery will limit the patient’s mobility, patients should stock up on groceries and essential items. Preparing meals for the first week following the surgery can tremendously help the recovery period. Placing water bottles throughout the home is also one of the essential recommendations because hydrating is vital after the surgery. 

An additional important aspect is to welcome support from friends and family. The support is especially crucial on the day of the surgery as patients usually need a designated driver to transport them to and from the surgery center. Moreover, patients may also need someone they fully trust to help them stay comfortable and at peace after the surgery. 

Need some medical advice from a professional about a foot problem? Book an appointment with one of the best LA podiatrists, Dr. Benjamin Tehrani, right away!