When a surgical procedure is necessary, it is understandable to feel nervous about what’s in store, but if you are well prepared for the road ahead, it helps to calm concerns and paves the way for a smooth recovery. Following these pre-surgery guidelines will be sure to help:
Learn about your procedure. It’s important to ask questions about the surgery you need and what you can expect afterward. The more informed you are, the less worrying you’ll do and the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel.
Follow the doctor’s orders. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions to properly prepare your body for surgery. In the weeks leading up to your procedure, it’s important to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, refrain from smoking and stay hydrated. You may be told to stop blood thinners, including aspirin, as well as fast the night before.
Make arrangements for help. Enlist the help of a friend or loved one to take you to the hospital, return you home and possibly even stay with you for awhile.
Do as much beforehand as possible. Get prescriptions filled. Schedule follow up appointments. Cook and freeze meals. Rearrange furniture and your bathroom to be accommodating. Prepare a restful place in your home where you can recover comfortably, and gather everything you think you may need, such as pillows, blankets, books, the tv remote, phone, and medication. Keep in mind, however, that light walking after surgery is recommended to prevent blood clots, so placing these items a short walking distance away is even better than having them within reach.
Don’t try to bounce back too fast. Just as it’s important to follow your doctor’s pre-surgery instructions, it is vital that you adhere to after-care instructions as well. This will likely include keeping your surgical site clean and dry, changing your dressing, icing, and possibly performing specific exercises until you can gradually resume normal activities. Recovery time varies, depending on your surgery, age, fitness level, lifestyle and other factors. Make sure you get the go ahead from your doctor before you dive back into your daily routine. Take advantage of this time to rest!
Keep comfort in mind. One last tip: it’s a good idea to wear comfy, loose-fitting clothes to the hospital so they are easy to slip back into and don’t cause discomfort on your journey home.
If you have any questions or would like more tips on preparing for surgery, contact MSA General Surgery, and our caring staff will be happy to help. Remember, we are here for you every step of the way.