Preparing For Surgery

When you and your doctor decide that surgery is your best option, you will need to prepare mentally and physically to achieve the best outcome. Knowing what to expect is important to achieve a successful result. Understanding the surgical process and knowing your role is the best way to ensure faster recovery with fewer problems.

Before Surgery

  • Before surgery, your doctor will do a complete physical exam to be sure that you are not experiencing any conditions that will negatively affect the surgical outcome. Routine tests, including blood tests and X-rays, may be necessary and will usually be administered about a week before surgery.
  • Before surgery, be sure to discuss any medications you are taking with the surgeon and family physician because it may be necessary to discontinue certain medications before surgery.
  • Prior to surgery, discuss with your doctor options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments.
  • Depending on the type of surgery prescribed, your doctor may recommend a weight loss program before surgery if you are overweight to help achieve the best result.
  • If taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
  • Smokers have to be especially careful before surgery and physicians recommend that patients stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve recovery.
  • Remember to eat a well-balanced diet.
  • It is very important to report any infections to the surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until your are infection free.

The key to a safe, effective recovery

  • It is just as important to plan for recovery after surgery. Arrange to have someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry. Some physicians may recommend that patients arrange a short stay in an extended care facility during the recovery period.
  • Preparation is key. Think about items that are used often and put them within easy reach before surgery to prevent having to reach and bend as often.
  • Avoid any tripping hazards. Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.