Preparing for Surgery
After choosing your surgeon and scheduling the day of surgery, it is time for you to prepare for the surgery. The time period before the surgery is very crucial and certain lifestyle changes you make can improve the surgical outcome. Being well informed about the treatment options, expected outcomes and complications can help you face the challenges of surgery.
Preparation for surgery begins with a complete physical assessment of the patient to ensure that you don’t have any health problems that can obstruct or interfere with the surgery or outcome. Routine tests such as blood and urine tests may be performed to assess for any undetected blood disorders or health problems.
Important things you should know before the surgery include:
- Discuss with your surgeon about medications to be taken or to be avoided prior to surgery. Make sure to let your surgeon know all medications you currently take including any over the counter supplements.
- Inform your doctor if you are taking aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medications or warfarin or any drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding as these medications need to be stopped one week before the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding.
- Consult your doctor about the options of potential blood replacement including a donation of your own blood at least a month before surgery.
- Understand about lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, quitting smoking and limiting or stopping alcohol prior to surgery to improve surgical outcomes and the healing process.
- If you are overweight, try to lose weight prior to the surgery if time allows. Do not diet the month before surgery however as a nutritious diet during this time will help your recovery. You will be instructed to quit smoking to reduce your chance of complications and enhance your recovery. Discuss options with your surgeon to help you succeed.
- Eat a well-balanced diet along with taking a daily multivitamin, if required.
- Inform your surgeon if you have any infections.
- Arrange for someone to help you perform everyday tasks such as cooking, shopping, and laundry during your recovery at home.
- Remove any loose carpets and keep hallways clear to prevent injury and avoid falls. Shop for nutritious meals and snacks prior to surgery to have on hand when you recover at home.