Once you and your surgeon decide that surgery will help you, you'll need to learn that preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
Working with Your Doctor
Before surgery, your surgeon will give you a complete physical examination to make sure you don't have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before the surgery.
Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
Discuss with your doctor options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery.
If you are overweight, losing weight is advisable.
If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.
Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
Report any infections to your doctor. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.
NOTE: These are only suggestions for most types of surgeries. Please discuss specific pre-operative plans with your surgeon prior to your operation.
Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.
Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won't have to reach and bend as often.
Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.
Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.
Preparing for Procedure
If you are having same day surgery, remember the following:
Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.
Do Not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home.
The combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.
Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty controlling the pain.