Preparing for surgery can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’ve first booked it. As time goes on, people get more anxious about their surgery and try to ignore and forget about it, and this leaves them unprepared for recovery. By making a few small changes to your routine in the lead-up to your surgery, you will be able to ensure that your recovery goes much quicker and you have an easier time.
There are many aspects that you need to consider when you’re preparing for an intensive surgical procedure, such as preparation and recovery, your mental health, and how you will live your life during this period. Many people forget or simply do not think about these aspects, and this leaves them unprepared for the day of surgery. By making a checklist with the following preparation strategies on it, you will be able to set yourself up for surgery in a much better way. These are all very important ways to prepare and get yourself ready for major surgery.
Know What The Procedure Will Entail
One of the best ways you can prepare yourself mentally for the surgery is to know exactly what the process will be, and what it will entail. Knowing about what will happen on the day, and how you will feel when you wake up will make you feel a lot calmer before and after the surgery. When you are calm and prepared for what will happen, you will have lower levels of stress in your body, and your body will be better able to recover and heal. It can also mitigate the chances of you developing depression symptoms after surgery.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Advice
One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for surgery is to follow everything your surgeon tells you to do. During your consultation and when you see your surgeon to confirm a date, they will usually give you some information both on paper and vocally. Pay close attention to the information they give you, and follow every single bit of advice they give you. For example, your surgeon might advise you to do certain things such as certain exercises and stretches. You should make sure that you’re following their advice as closely as possible, so you will be prepared for your surgery as much as possible.
Mentally Prepare Yourself
You will need to come to terms with the fact that you are going to go through intensive surgery and that you may need to be in recovery for a few weeks, if not months. This can often be a significant hindrance to people’s life plans, and this can make people feel depressed or anxious in the lead-up. If you haven’t gone through a surgical procedure before, this may affect you especially. Talk to your doctor and talk to your close friends and family about your feelings – they may be able to help you navigate this headspace and cope with any negative thoughts and feelings.
Sort Out Your Plans
During recovery, you may need to get someone to take care of your day-to-day responsibilities. After a significant surgery, you may need to take a few weeks or months away from work, childcare, housework and other responsibilities. This can be daunting, as routines are often very important to people, and disruption to this can make people feel out of place or particularly anxious. Having your plans already sorted for the recovery period before your surgery can help you feel better about taking time away from your responsibilities.
For example, if you have children, you should organise some extra childcare help so you don’t have to worry about putting too much strain on yourself. If you have young children, you will know how much you need to be active in order to take care of them, and you may not be able to do this post-surgery. You should also consider employing someone to help you with the general cleaning around your home, as you won’t be able to get up and about the same. Making plans for your post-surgery recovery is one of the best ways you can ensure that it all goes smoothly.
If you smoke, you should definitely start to take steps to quit as soon as possible. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your recovery, especially after intensive surgery. Smoking lowers your immune system and prevents your body from healing, which will need to be as good as it can be after surgery. You may have some quite intense incision scars, and if you want your body to heal the scars and fight off any risk of infection, you should definitely give up smoking.
Refrain From Drinking
Drinking alcohol is also one of the things you should limit during the lead-up to your surgery, and completely refrain from during recovery. Just like smoking, alcohol can impair your immune system, and you will need to be at your best during the recovery stages. Alcohol is also very dehydrating, which can be very problematic for your body when you are recovering from intensive surgery. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t socialise with your friends during the lead-up – instead, limit how much alcohol you consume, perhaps to 1 drink. During the recovery stage, you shouldn’t be drinking for at least 2 months.
One of the best things you can do for your body in the lead-up to surgery is to exercise and move your body as much as possible. If your body is in good shape, you will be able to make your recovery much easier for yourself. It’s not just your body – during surgery recovery, your heart and lungs need to work harder in order to repair your body. If you’ve been exercising and training your cardiovascular health, this will be much easier for your heart and lungs, aiding your recovery. Strengthening your body will also increase your muscle tissue and strength, meaning your body will recover much faster.
Improve Your Diet
Improving your diet is also a great idea in order to prepare for intensive surgery. You should be increasing your protein intake as much as you can by eating more meat, fish, eggs, beans, milk and cheese. This will improve your muscle strength and promote muscle growth, which will help your body during the recovery process. You should also eat more fruits and vegetables to help with your immune system, and help you fight off infections. A leading plastic surgeon Manchester based found that patients who had a better diet before surgery drastically improved their recovery time. Changing your diet and becoming healthier is one of the best ways to prepare for an intensive surgical procedure.