Surgical procedures have come a long way. We can now operate on complex parts of the body with ease and efficiency, as well as ensuring that the patient has a swift and pain-limited recovery. There’s usually nothing at all to worry about if you’re facing surgery - surgeons are true experts, and if they tell you it’s going to be OK, it usually is! However, surgery can still be a daunting prospect. If you’re nervous and want to feel like you’re doing something to make it easier and safer, here are a few ways you can prepare for surgery:
If you’re having surgery, chances are that you’re not as able to exercise as you otherwise would be. Which makes this frustrating advice! Don’t worry. Exercise is useful because it improves your health generally (the healthier you are, the better an experience of surgery you will have). It also helps you to get around after surgery, when your usual modes of mobility may be temporarily compromised. However, don’t go overboard. A bit of gentle yoga, or short, regular strolls will make the world of difference without making your condition any worse. You can use exercise to improve your recovery after surgery as well - but be sure to consult your doctor about what kinds of exercise are reasonable and safe post-op.
2. Organise Yourself
The more prepared you are for your surgery and your recovery period, the more peace of mind you’ll have. And peace of mind (as we’ll cover in a moment) is important. If you haven’t booked time off work, or sorted out your finance or insurance options, or arranged any help you may need, or prepped your house for the kind of facilities you’ll need post-surgery, it will weigh on your mind and stress you out. The more prepared for surgery you are, logistically speaking, the clearer your mind will be. You can then head into surgery and recovery feeling confident that everything is sorted out, allowing you to heal in peace.
3. Talk to Your Surgeon
One major advantage of private surgery in the UK is the access it allows you to the people who will be carrying out your operation. You should be able to discuss what will happen with your surgeon or/and the relevant team, and they will be able to explain to you the procedure, the risks, and what they hope to achieve. We fear the unknown, so the more you understand about the surgery you’re about to have, the better you’ll feel about it. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions. And do listen to any advice you’re given - if your surgical team advises you to do or not to do anything to prepare for surgery, don’t ignore them. They have your best interests at heart and are telling you these things for a reason.
4. Understand Anaesthesia
Anaesthetics worry a lot of people. It doesn’t help that we use the term ‘put to sleep’ for animal euthanasia. It’s understandable that the idea of being ‘knocked out’ by a stranger should be unnerving. However, anaesthetics really are nothing to worry about. Familiarise yourself with anaesthesia, and it will become a lot less scary. If you’re really worried, you can always ask to meet an anaesthesiologist, who will be able to talk about what they do, and hopefully allay your fears.
5. Follow the Dietary Advice You’re Given
You’ll often be given a pre-surgery diet plan. It’s important to follow this rigorously. The reason you’re given these plans is to prepare your body for the surgery as well as possible, so deviating from the plan will make the surgery tougher. In general, it’s a good idea to eat as healthily as possible both pre and post-surgery, as the healthier you are, the faster and more efficient your recovery will be.
6. Discuss Medication with Your Doctors
If you’re on medications, it’s important to tell your doctor before you have your surgery, as some medications can interfere with surgical procedures. Post-surgery, you may want to use medications to reduce inflammation or to kill the residual pain. Talk to your doctor about your options in this regard beforehand, and have a medication plan set up. This will set your mind at rest, and ensure that you can head into recovery without anything extra to sort out.
Whatever surgery you are thinking of having, at Pall Mall Medical you are in safe hands, speak to one of our team today and book the surgery you have been contemplating.