10 ways to prepare for an upcoming surgery

  • By Sahana Rajan

One could be stressed and anxious about how a surgery would proceed and its consequences. This could be signalled by a series of symptoms like hypertension, rapid and slow breathing, reduction in immunity levels of the body, as well as discharge of stress hormones like cortisol. If someone undergoes physical responses to stress like fight or flight, then it negatively impacts the other physical and psychological processes related to recovery as well.

By working on your stress levels and preparing for the surgery, you will be able to recover sooner and also experience reduced pain. The need for health care interference will also be less, as you would be empowered to take care of your well-being during the recovery period. Any difficulty will be met with optimism and the will to heal.

Here are ten ways in which you can prepare for your surgery:

Way 1- Be Involved At Every Step

It is very important that you participate in every decision which is made with regard to your illness. From the diagnosis to the confirmation of surgery, you should involve yourself in weighing the pros and cons of the different treatment methods and choosing the best one.

Way 2- Information Gathering And Methodology

When you decide on surgery, then it is time to bring your pen to the paper and begin noting down everything your doctor can say about the surgery. This would help you to remember and look up any information you want at any point prior to the surgery. The lack of information fuels the fear of the unknown. Make sure you have all the information you need right at your fingertips within a week of the decision to get the surgery.

Way 3- Know The Basics

If you have decided to get a surgery, then try to know as much as you can about it. Here are nine basic questions to ask once you have made up your mind to get the surgery: 1) Why is surgery the best treatment? 2) In what way would this surgery better my quality of life? 3) Can I delay the surgery? If yes, then how long would be a safe time span? 4) What are the risks involved in the surgery? 5) In what way does my age influence effectivity of surgery? Could it also increase the chances of the risks? 6) What is the probability of death during or after the surgery? How is it affected by my age and health? 7) What complexities could arise during the surgery? Are we medically equipped to deal with them? 8) Would I need more surgery after this one to treat my condition completely? 9) What form of anesthesia will you be using?

Way 4- Be Aware Of The Surgery Process

Talk to your doctor and know what they would be doing to your surgery. The above section mentioned about the pre-surgery questions. At this step, you should be coming to know about the process in itself. Many believe that knowing the process would only frighten them more. However, doctors have realized that after the surgery, the patients were curious to know what had been done and often felt shocked about it, thus negatively impacting their form of recovery. It is best to know beforehand the mechanism involved in the surgery.

Way 5- The Post-Surgery Questions

You should also be asking and gathering knowledge about the recovery and life after surgery. Here are five questions to ask your doctor about the post-surgery period: 1) How long would I be staying in the hospital after the surgery? 2) What activities and tasks would be included in the recovery process? 3) When I return home, in what ways would my lifestyle be changed and in what ways would I be able to handle them without excessive stress? 4) When would be the ideal time to continue my daily activities and also go back to office? 5) What limitations could I feel after the surgery?

Way 6- Second Opinion And Reviews

If you do not feel satisfied with the judgment of your present doctor, then get second opinion from another well-known physician. Getting your case reviewed by three doctors including the present one to cross check the diagnosis and treatment methods will make you confident that you are taking the right decision for your body. Also, many of the health insurance corporations require that the client takes a second opinion. You might also have to select a doctor from a list of their health care providers.

Way 7- Emotional Preparation

It is natural to be afraid and anxious before a surgery. By knowing about the surgery process and the estimated consequences, you will reduce your fears and be able to handle them effectively. You could also practice relaxation exercises such as meditation, visualization, and deep breathing.

Way 8- Physical Preparation

You can take many steps to ensure that physically your body is ready to undergo the surgery. For this, refrain from smoking and drinking at least three weeks prior to the surgery. Make sure that your medications are reviewed at least a month before the surgery and any changes required are actualized. You should also inquire about the exercise regime you are supposed to follow. Also, consume a balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, water, as well as whole grains. Do not take aspirin or related medications at least a week prior to the surgery. These could negatively impact the process of blood clotting.

Way 9- Alternative Arrangement For Household Chores

You would not be able to begin taking care of your home immediately after getting out of the surgery. So, make sure you choose a considerate caregiver for the house, especially if you have an infant. If you have pets, make sure you get home a caretaker who can also attend to the animals. Inform your office coordinator about the amount of time you might be away. At least ask for a week post the time given to you by the doctor as being ideal to start working again.

Way 10- Pantry Store-Up And Clothing

Before going to the surgery, make sure you have packed your pantry with healthy food items. This will prevent necessity to go to the shop and buy them the following week of the surgery. If you have had a surgery, then there would be the need for consistent dressing. Wear loose fitting clothes to make sure that you can change them comfortably.

Did you know that your psychological condition highly affects the way in which your recovery takes place? Being optimistic and working positively on the recovery will lead to a quicker recovery. Work on pushing away any negativity characterizing your attitude towards the surgery.