Finding out from your doctor that you need to have surgery can be stressful and the very thought of going into the operating room is a daunting prospect at best however with these with these top tips you’ll be well prepared:
Remove any unnecessary stress by asking your surgeon to outline the procedure you’re about to have. This will help to address any worries or fears you may have reassuring you and reiterating why you are in hospital. Find out from your surgeon how long the operation will take, when you will feel better and what, if any, after-effects you may experience once the surgery is complete. This way you’ll know what to expect and if any pain or discomfort you experience after surgery is normal.
You want to be at your best so that means sticking to before and after your surgery, after all, your body will need good nutrition to fight infection and heal. Make sure to ask your surgeon if you’ll need to follow any specific diet regime before surgery.
Talk to your surgeon about what kind of medication you’ll need to have after your operation and whether they can prescribe these for you to collect from your pharmacy ahead of time. Knowing and having your medication will relieve any uncertainty and some stress off your shoulders.
You'll want to make travel arrangements for getting to and from the hospital and you probably won’t want to be driving! Make sure you give your family and friends plenty of notice about your operation so they can take time off work to be with you, if necessary. Also check your hospital's policy on visiting times and let your family and friends know when you’re ready for some flowers and grapes.
You should aim to pack your cell phone, a nightdress or pyjamas, day clothes, clean underwear, toiletries – soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, sanitary towels or tampons, razor and shaving materials, comb or hairbrush, book or magazines, money, medication you normally take, and a list of the doses for each medicine.
Remove all body piercings, take off your watch, rings, and jewelry and store them in a safe place, and clean off any make-up and nail polish before your operation. This can help to reduce unwanted bacteria being brought into the hospital. Also, the doctors will need to see your skin and nails to make sure your blood circulation is healthy.
Fingers crossed the surgery is a great success! Now it’s time to recover, dependent on what type of surgery performed but with a positive mindset and following your surgeon's detailed instructions you’ll be on the road to recovery and a healthier you.