Things Everyone Should Do Before They Go Undergo Surgery

By Nick Hadji 8 months ago

Talk to your surgeon

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The first meeting you have with the surgeon is an important stage in the process of having surgery done. At this point, you should talk about the specifics of your problem, the available treatment choices, and what you may anticipate from the operation. Inquire more, and address any issues or questions that you may have. It’s better to ask than stay silent.Original content sourced from Femanin.com

Get a second opinion

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It’s always wise to seek a second opinion, particularly before undergoing big or difficult surgical procedures. A second opinion may give vital insights and assist you in making a choice based on more accurate information. Various doctors and surgeons can have different opinions, and also different methods of performing an operation. If you don’t trust your surgeon, ask around.

Read your past medical records

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In order to keep you safe when they are operating on you, your surgeon will need to have a complete understanding of your medical history. Be careful to offer specific information on any previous surgeries, medical issues, or anesthesia-related difficulties that have run in your family. These will be super important for your surgeon and anesthetist to know before you undergo surgery.

Make them aware of any medications you’re taking

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Certain medications may affect how well you recover from anesthesia or interfere with its effects. Talk to your surgeon about all of your medicines, whether they are prescribed, over-the-counter, or supplements. Be sure to listen to your surgeon's instructions on which drugs should be continued and which should be stopped before surgery.

Manage any pre-existing conditions

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If you have a chronic health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, be sure to work closely with your general care physician or a specialist to get it under control before you have surgery. Conditions that are not under control might raise the likelihood of problems. Also, many people have been turned away on the day of surgery because their medical condition isn’t under control.

Finish all the testing you need to

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Your surgeon may decide to conduct a variety of preoperative tests, such as blood tests, electrocardiograms (ECGs), or imaging investigations such as X-rays or MRIs, depending on your current state of health and the kind of surgery that you need. In order for your doctor and surgeon to understand whether or not you need surgery, you must make sure you complete all the tasks and tests.

Ditch any bad habits

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If you are a smoker, it is strongly recommended that you give up the habit or at the very least cut down in the weeks leading up to your operation. The capacity of the body to repair itself may be hindered by smoking, which also raises the risk of post-operative problems. Also, you can use your operation as an opportunity to quit smoking for good, leading to better health and better finances.

Avoid alcohol and drugs

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Be completely forthright with your medical staff about your usage of alcoholic beverages and any recreational drug use you engage in. The administration of anesthesia and the healing process may be significantly altered as a result of ingesting any of these. We all love a good drink at the weekend, so you should be honest with your medical staff, not ashamed.

Make sure you’ve got a good diet

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The process of recovery is greatly aided by receiving the appropriate nourishment. Consume a diet that is both well-balanced and abundant in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C and zinc, both of which are necessary for the healing of wounds. If you go into your surgery having a bad diet, then the likelihood is that you’ll experience some problems post-surgery.

Drink plenty of water a few days before

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Maintaining an adequate water intake is critical to one's general health and may provide for a more expedient recovery. In the days preceding up to your operation, make sure you get lots of fluids, especially water. However, you should definitely follow your surgeon’s opinion when it comes to refraining from drinking water in the hours before your surgery.

Regularly exercise beforehand

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Your general health may be improved and your body can be better prepared for surgery if you engage in regular, modest exercise. However, you should be sure to follow the suggestions of your surgeon about the kind and intensity of activity. Everyone’s exercise ability differs, so you wouldn’t be expected to do the same amount of exercise as an athlete.

Manage your weight beforehand

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If you are overweight, it is important to discuss methods of weight control with your surgeon. Getting rid of extra fat may both lessen the likelihood of post-operative problems and speed up the healing process. It’s not an easy road, losing weight, but it can be beneficial in the long run, not even only for the recovery after your surgery. Look for support if you need it!

Arrange your transport

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Make transportation arrangements to and from the hospital as early as possible. After surgery, you won't be in the position to drive yourself home, so ask a friend or a member of your family to give you a hand getting home instead. This step is hugely important as you don’t want to be left stranded after your surgery is over, especially when you’re in pain.

Make sure you’ve got good support post-op

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Recovery after surgery often need the aid of others. To provide enough assistance, especially in the early post-operative time, it is important to make arrangements with friends and family members. Some people need 24 hours a day care in the days after their surgery, especially with major operations, so you should ask your surgeon whether they think you need that.

Equip your house necessarily

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Before you leave to the hospital, make sure that your house is in order for when you get back. Think about loading up on food, setting up a relaxing recuperation space, and acquiring any essential mobility assistance before the procedure. Every operation will have its own needs, so you should be mindful of that, but preparing is always the best shout.

Understand anesthesia

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Many patients feel anxious about the prospect of undergoing anesthesia. Your anesthesiologist will talk to you about the kind of anesthetic that will be administered, any possible adverse effects, and what you may anticipate throughout the process of inducing anesthesia and coming out of it. Now would be a good moment to address any issues or questions, if you have any.

Air your concerns

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Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have concerning the procedure to the medical staff attending you. If you are able to reduce your worry and guarantee that you are well-informed by gaining an understanding of the surgery, any problems, and the anticipated recovery time, then you will have achieved both goals. Your medical staff won’t care that you’re asking loads of questions.

Don’t eat right before your surgery

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In the days leading up to your procedure, your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on fasting. It is essential that you follow these recommendations in order to reduce the risk of experiencing any issues before, during, or after the treatment. Also, you don’t want to be turned away on the day of surgery purely because you couldn’t resist your bacon and pancakes in the morning.

Be clean!

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Before surgery, it is critical to practice good hygiene in order to lower your chance of contracting an infection. Your surgeon will offer advice on when and how to shower, which products to use, and what to avoid after surgery. These instructions should also include what you can’t do in terms of keeping yourself clean. It’s also worthwhile checking what products you should avoid post-surgery too.

Remove nail polish and jewelry

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On the day of your operation, you will be instructed to take off any nail paint, jewelry, and any other items you may be wearing. These objects have the potential to interfere with monitoring equipment as well as the operations themselves. No doubt, your surgeon will keep you reminded of this, but consider it before taking your best bracelets and rings.

Wear comfortable clothing

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This one is probably the most pivotal of all the points on this list! On the day of the operation, you should dress in comfortable clothing that is simple to put on and take off. Loose fitting clothes are ideal. The medical staff will have an easier time getting you ready for the treatment, so don’t bother too much with how you look, go off how comfortable you feel!

Consider a medical alert bracelet

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Wearing a medical alert bracelet may be very beneficial in the event of an unexpected medical crisis, particularly for those who suffer from allergies or persistent medical disorders. Make sure that the bracelet has all of the pertinent information and that it is written correctly. This goes for people with especially severe allergies, so you can make sure they don’t start administering the wrong drugs.

Make arrangements for child or pet care

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If you have children or pets, you should make plans for their care while you are in the hospital and while you are recovering from your illness. This will guarantee that you are able to concentrate on your recuperation without having to worry about the requirements of others. It’s hard to leave your kids in somebody else’s hands, but sometimes it’s a must.

Make the necessary financial arrangements

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The issue of money might be a source of anxiety when it comes to surgical procedures. Your healthcare practitioner and your insurance company should be contacted well in advance to discuss the expenses, insurance coverage, and billing arrangements in order to eliminate any surprises. Also, you should take some time to consider any potential lost income as a result of being unable to work post surgery.

Consider your advanced directives

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Advanced directives, also known as living wills and healthcare proxies, provide you the opportunity to outline your preferences for medical treatment in the event that you are unable to express them for yourself. Talk to your family about these papers and make sure they are in order in case you ever need them. While it might seem highly unlikely that they’ll ever need to be used, it’s a truly useful thing to have prepared.

Prepare yourself mentally for the operation

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It is possible that emotionally preparing for surgery is just as vital as physically preparing for it. A good mental attitude and reduced anxiety may be fostered by the regular practice of relaxation methods, meditation, or mindfulness. It’s okay to get nervous before a major operation, it’s natural, but trust that you’re in good hands and that you’ll be looked after during the process.

Get a decent night’s sleep before hand

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A restful night's sleep the night before surgery may assist in preparing both your body and mind for the next treatment. If you have trouble sleeping, you should think about bringing this up with your doctor or other healthcare practitioner. Also, you don’t know when your next good night’s sleep will be, so definitely try to get as much shut eye as you can beforehand.

Read your pre-op booklet thoroughly

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Your surgeon will provide you with detailed pre-op instructions that are adapted to the surgery that will be performed as well as your medical history. It is very necessary to follow these directions to the letter in order to reduce the likelihood of complications and increase the likelihood of a successful operation. It can also help a lot with your recovery after the operation.

Decide your emergency contact

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Make sure that a close friend or member of your family has access to your surgeon's contact information so that they may get in touch with you in the event that any unforeseen occurrences or difficulties arise while you are in the hospital. Nobody wants to prepare for the worst, because we don’t want to imagine the worst happening, but it’s good to be prepared at all times.

Stay positive

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Keeping a happy attitude during your rehabilitation may have a big influence on how quickly you get well. Engage in things that offer you pleasure, gather supportive friends and family around you, and see yourself succeeding in whatever it is you're trying to do. Surgeries can take it out on us, so it’s always good to try and look at life through a positive lens to get us through it. You got this!

Things you should always do after surgery

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Now that you know how best to prepare yourself for surgery, what about afterwards? A healthy and comfortable recovery is extremely important, but there are a few mistakes many people can easily make after surgery that make their recovery less smooth sailing than it should be!

Don't try to do too much too soon

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The road to recovery can be a long one, and most people get impatient or feel like they need to keep busy. It's very easy to try and do too much too soon just because you're feeling a lot better, and want to get back into your normal routine. But don't push it!

Make sure to get out of bed when you can!

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When recovering from surgery, a lot of people stay in bed for far too long because they're worried about overdoing it - but actually, getting out of bed when you're able to is one of the most important things you can do once you're cleared to move, because your muscles and circulation need the movement!

Always take all your prescribed medication

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If you're taking prescribed medication like pain meds, don't make your own decisions about when to take it. Some people hold off because they don't like the side effects or think they can deal with the pain, but medication is prescribed for a reason and it's there to help keep your recovery on track.

Eat enough and stay hydrated

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A lot of people don't get enough to eat and drink during the recovery stage, often because they feel sick, or their digestive system isn't moving smoothly. But you should always make sure to eat something healthy and - most importantly - drink enough to stay hydrated!

Be sure to attend rehab

 
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Working with a physical therapist is vital to your post-surgery recovery, though some people think they can get back on their feet on their own and skip out on any rehab. It depends on what surgery you have, as sometimes you might just need one or two sessions before you leave the hospital.

Take as much time off work as you need

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With the pressures of life these days, far too many people are overworking themselves and worrying about days off, and especially if you've been off a while for surgery, you might feel like you're obliged to go back to work ASAP. But definitely don't push yourself to go back too early.

Don't rush to get back behind the wheel

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The same applies for driving, too. Your doctor will always recommend when you can start safely driving again, but that also doesn't mean you should jump back behind the wheel at the date they advise. If you don't feel ready, wait until you do, and ask friends or family to help you with rides!

Keep up with your breathing exercises

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There are certain surgeries that might result in your doctor advising breathing exercises, and these are very important to do, because they're important for helping your lungs recover from being under anesthesia for the operation. So definitely don't stop these exercises until your doctor says it's okay to!

Find a good hobby to pass the time

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To avoid getting bored and frustrated, this is the perfect opportunity to find a good hobby you know will be the best way to pass the time when you're recovering. Some of the most obvious choices are a new, exciting book or to catch up on any TV shows or movies you've missed!

You might want to journal your recovery

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Journaling during your recovery can actually be a really helpful thing to do. It helps to process your emotions and offers support during this time to get your thoughts in order, as well as helping you to make note of how your body is feeling and anything you might want to make a note of.

Have a support system around you

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Don't be afraid to ask for extra help and support when you need it - and as a key foundation, you should have some support already in place for the moment you come out of surgery. This very much includes the mobility issues that you might be having at first, as you'll need help with errands and chores.

Make sure you're getting enough sunlight

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Being out in natural light and getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D will help you to feel more positive during your recovery, and be good for your health. If you can, sit or lie outside in your garden instead of sitting inside, or even have a friend help you with theirs!

Be productive with your time

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A long recovery can be frustrating if you're not able to do much, or go to work. But this is also the perfect opportunity to be productive, especially if you have something that takes time to plan, like a big vacation. Surgery recovery is the ideal time to do something you need time to do!

Try for regular, short walks

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When you're cleared to move, regular and shorter walks can be much better than trying to take one long walk every day. To get yourself used to moving again, these short bursts of movement will be better for your recovery. You could even set a timer to remind you when to walk around.

Stretches might be helpful

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Your doctor might have refused you from doing certain exercises or movement, like bending down or twisting your back too much, but there may be certain stretches that can help you. As long as it's okay with your doctor, stretches can help iron out those muscles and get them moving.

Set yourself up close to a bathroom

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When you've just come out of hospital and you aren't able to be very mobile just yet, the closer your set up your bed to a bathroom, the better! So you might want to consider heading into the guest room or making another room your makeshift bedroom for a while.

Place everything within arm's reach

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This one is very important if you don't have anyone to help you at home, or have limited help, as you'll need to fend for yourself a lot of the time. Position everything you need around your bed or rest area, such as charging cables, water bottles and your cell phone.

Avoid stairs if you can

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Just like with the bathroom scenario, if you can set your bed up somewhere you don't have to use stairs (so making the downstairs study your makeshift bedroom instead) this will help to avoid any discomfort, pain or pushing yourself too much going up and down the stairs - if you're even able to!

Meal prep can be your best friend

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Do it yourself, or get someone to help you, when you're preparing your next meal. It's much better to prepare a lot of meals in advance so that they're all ready, to keep you eating and hydrated, and avoiding the risk that you'll forget to eat certain meals throughout the day!