For many, undergoing surgery is a rather nerve-wracking endeavor. With that said, there are a number of ways you should prepare for the procedure. First and foremost, follow the specific instructions laid out by your surgeon that are required for the surgery to be performed safely. Since every procedure is different, there will most likely be idiosyncrasies regarding dietary and lifestyle changes leading up to the operation. Remember that your surgeon's instructions should always take priority, but here are five general ways to ready yourself for surgery:
1. Study the procedure
The University of Chicago Medicine suggests that patients take an active role in their treatment by researching surgery prior to the procedure. The source notes that it provides online educational programs to accompany surgery so that a patient can learn the basics and ask questions beforehand. Many other institutions offer similar programs, and the Internet can serve as a good resource for doing some independent research.
"Short term stay services cut down on the day-to-day tasks that you may not be able to easily perform as you recover from surgery."
2. Schedule a short term stay
After undergoing your surgery, consider checking in at a community that provides short term stay services, to cut down on the day-to-day tasks that you may not be able to easily perform as you recover. For example, Edgewood Communities offer 24-hour on site nursing, consultation, nutritious meals, laundry services and daily activities. This is a great way to transition out of surgery before taking on all of the responsibilities awaiting you at home.
3. Discuss any health issues with your physician
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise speaking with your doctor about any other health issues you may have before undergoing surgery, in order to safeguard yourself against infection. To do so, the CDC states that you should ask your doctor about how to properly clean your skin before surgery and find out if you need any antibiotics prior to the procedure.
4. Stop smoking
For those who smoke regularly, this may prove a difficult challenge. However, there are several distinct benefits to quitting smoking before going into surgery. According to the American Association of Kidney Patients, cigarette smoke slows healing in two ways. First, cigarettes prevent as much oxygen rich blood from enabling the healing process at the site of the wound. Secondly, this is exacerbated due to the fact that cigarettes have so many toxins, which are also detrimental to the healing process. Even if you aren't ready to quit smoking forever, at least challenge yourself to take a break leading up to and following your surgery.
5. Fill your prescriptions beforehand
If possible, having your prescriptions filled before the surgery takes place will help ensure that you can begin taking any necessary medications as soon as you leave the hospital. Furthermore, this will save your loved ones a trip to the pharmacy during a time when they'll likely want to focus on taking care of you. Also, keep in mind that you won't be able to drive after surgery, so you'll need a loved one there to drive you to your treatment facility or home.