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Updated by Surgical Associates of Palm Beach County on Oct 04, 2017
Headline for Tips for Preparing to Undergo Surgery
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Tips for Preparing to Undergo Surgery

Whether you are about to experience your first surgical procedure or you have been in the operating room many times before, it is normal to have fears and concerns when you learn that you need to have surgery. Preparing yourself in advance both physically and mentally can go a long way to reducing your anxiety and setting yourself up for a quicker recovery. Below are some tips that can help you get your mind and your body ready for your surgery.

1

Talk with your medical team

If you have questions or concerns about your procedure, recovery time or potential complications, talk with your medical team. Because fear of the unknown will only multiply your stress and anxiety, it is important to get as much credible information as possible from your doctors. If you spend your time searching the Internet for advice rather than speaking directly with your medical team, you are likely to find yourself awake at 2am reading inaccurate, worst-case scenario articles.

2

Take Care of Yourself

Because surgery takes a serious toll on your body, it is important to take care of yourself before your procedure. If you smoke or drink, try to stop or reduce these habits. Regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet can help you prepare yourself physically while managing your stress and anxiety. Getting enough sleep in the days and weeks before your surgery is also important to your physical and emotional well-being.

3

Plan ahead

Depending upon the type of surgery you are having and the outcome, you may find yourself back on your feet in no time or you may be in for a long recovery. Take some time to plan ahead – Do you need to make any adjustments to your home? Will you need any specialized medical equipment? Do you need help from friends or family while you are healing? Getting your post-surgery plans in place now will give you some peace of mind and help your recovery go much more smoothly.

4

Learn about the anesthesia that will be used

There are several different types of anesthesia used for surgery. The anesthesia that your medical team will choose for your surgery will depend upon a number of different factors, including the type of surgery you are undergoing, your past and current health condition, and any allergies or reactions you may have to anesthetics or other medications. If you have questions or a preference be sure to ask – in some situations your surgeon or anesthesiologist may be able to let you choose.

5

Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

Your surgeon is likely to give you a list of instructions to follow for the days leading up to your surgery. Be sure to read this information as soon as you receive it so that you can ask any questions you may have about pre-surgery preparations. Your doctor’s orders are also likely to contain post-surgical instructions. Review these instructions carefully so that you (and any anyone who will be taking care of you) know what to expect and what to be on the lookout for in terms of potential surgical complications.

While surgery can be scary and overwhelming, there are many things you can do to help make the process go as smoothly as possible. Remember, the more you take care of things now, the more you will be able to focus your energy on your recovery.