The Helm Center relieves chronic pain and improves quality of life through customized, targeted, contemporary pain management.

How to Prepare for a Procedure

Most of the procedures recommended by the Helm Center are outpatient procedures.

Eating and Drinking. We request that you not eat or drink anything for 10 hours before a procedure. We do most of our procedures in the early morning, which effectively means don’t eat or drink anything after midnight if your procedure is in the morning.

Medication, including pain medication and blood thinners. If you take blood thinners, we ask that you stop them before the procedure. Coumadin, Advil, Plavix, and Aspirin should be stopped five (5) days before the procedure. We may obtain a clotting study (a PT and INR) to ensure that your blood levels are low enough.

Always check with the physician prescribing your blood thinner that it is safe for you to be off it for that length of time. Sometimes, the risk of being off the medication is too great to warrant doing the procedure. In rare cases, we can start heparin to replace the other blood thinner.

You may take your other medications, including pain medications, with a sip of water, according to your regular schedule.

Clothing. Wear comfortable clothing. If you are having a low back procedure, an elastic waistband is often convenient.

Getting to and from the procedure. Do you need a driver? If you are receiving sedation, you must have someone drive for you. If you do not receive sedation, then you may drive yourself.

We cannot send you home in a taxicab unless you are accompanied by a responsible adult.