How to Prepare for Surgery
Surgery may be a point of stress for many patients, but the fact is surgical procedures are often a necessary process in getting patients on the path to recovery.
After you’re scheduled for your procedure, you may be wondering what to expect before, during and after surgery. Before heading in, read through this list of ways to prepare for your surgery in the days leading up to, the day of and the days following your surgery.
Ask lots of questions.
No doubt, you’ll have many questions before your procedure. Never feel ashamed if you feel unsure about any aspect of your surgery — ask away and get all the specifics.
- What exactly is the procedure and how will it be performed?
- Why is this necessary and how will it improve your life?
- How long will it take?
- Where and when will it be performed?
- How long will I need to recover?
In addition, be sure to ask your provider about any medications you may be taking, including those for blood thinners, blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, seizures and acid reflux. Check with your doctor to see if you should continue to take these medications leading up to your surgery.
No eating or drinking before surgery.
Although you may be hungry the morning of your surgery, resist the urge to eat. Do not eat anything — no matter how small — after midnight the night before your surgery. Anesthesia may cause you to be nauseous, which in turn could cause you to vomit while you’re asleep. This can lead to serious — and even fatal — complications. Keep your stomach empty before you’re wheeled in.
This also goes for alcohol, tobacco, anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and vitamin supplements.
Wear or bring something comfortable.
Whether you’re staying overnight or not, you’ll want to wear something comfortable. Any tight, constricting clothes can cause a great deal of discomfort on the affected area. Remember to wear loose, baggy clothing like sweatpants and a sweatshirt the day of your surgery.
This applies for procedures that will require an overnight stay as well. Pack an overnight bag filled with comfortable clothes for when you’re discharged.
Arrange for someone to drive you.
No matter how minor your procedure is, you should never attempt to drive a vehicle afterward. The effects of anesthesia may still be lingering and operating a vehicle may be difficult as your body heals. Arrange for someone to come with you to your procedure — or pick you up on your discharge date — to drive you home afterward.
Take it easy.
The urge to get up and move around is tempting — we get it. And sometimes you just want to help out around the house. But after your surgery, remember this is time needed for your body to heal. Find a comfortable spot in your house and relax there for however much time your provider advises. Don’t let yourself feel like a burden — this is a normal and necessary part of the healing process.
Don’t put off that procedure any longer. Your Culbertson Memorial Hospital providers are here to help get you back to feeling your best.