Regardless of how seemingly minor or serious a particular upcoming surgery may be, it’s normal to be a little anxious. You can allay some of your fears and set yourself up for a successful outcome by doing your homework ahead of time and using these 7 strategies to prepare for surgery.
Find the Best
No matter what type of surgery you are facing, be sure that your surgeon and their team come with extensive experience. Have they performed hundreds or even thousands of this kind of surgery, or only a few dozen? Don’t be afraid to ask these kinds of questions. They will be happy to share this information with you.
Follow All Preoperative Directions
Meticulously follow all the directions Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia provides. Listen carefully to the preparation needed, like getting enough rest, eating well, and stopping all smoking. Pay attention to what medication you can take and those you should discontinue prior to your procedure. It is always best to be as healthy as you can be before any surgery.
Just Do It
Once you and Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia make the decision that surgery is needed, don’t procrastinate. If you wait too long, your condition may worsen or you could become weaker, leading to a higher risk of complications.
Ask About the Anesthesia
Will you be undergoing local or general anesthesia? Do you have a choice? Be sure to tell your anesthesiologist about any past issues you may have had with anesthesia.
Bring a Second Set of Ears
It is always best to bring a spouse, trusted friend, or relative with you to discuss the surgery. One of you should take notes and have written questions ready. This person should also be with you on surgery day and be involved in your follow-up care and recovery.
With that in mind, they should also be familiar with the following:
- Knowing how to spot infection
- Knowing when and how to change a dressing or bandage
- Looking for certain side effects of your medications that would be concerning
- Being aware of your dietary restrictions, if any
- Knowing when you can return to normal activities
You may begin to feel stronger or want to reach a goal of recuperating more quickly, and as hard as it may be, you should really take the time to rest so that you don’t risk your recovery by doing too much too early in the recovery process.
Know the Risks
All surgeries, no matter how minor, come with some risks. Even going under general anesthesia can cause unwanted side effects, so become thoroughly familiar with post-surgical complications. Find out which outcomes will be normal, and when a situation warrants a call to Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia.
Manage Your Emotions and Motivation
If you are feeling worried and anxious about your upcoming surgery, think about what you will be able to enjoy afterwards, and let that motivate you. Maybe you will once again be able to walk your dog or play with your children without pain.
Focus on that “light at the end of the tunnel” and envision yourself successfully healed. In short, stay positive.
Contact Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia for any additional strategies to prepare yourself for surgery. As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (571) 512-5300 today!