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Tips to Help You Prepare for a Successful Surgery

By Mary Serphos
Licensed Therapist and Certified Health Coach

For most of us, the thought of undergoing surgery is overwhelming and brings up a lot of fear and anxiety. Taking time to prepare mentally and physically will ultimately enhance the outcome of surgery. Individuals who prepare in this way have quicker recoveries, less pain and fewer complications. After you have found an experienced surgeon to perform your operation, there are many steps to take before the procedure. The following tips will help you get ready.

Educate Yourself and Ask Questions
Educate yourself about what your surgery entails and learn as much as possible ahead of time about ways to speed the recovery process after the surgery has been performed. Patients who are well informed usually are more satisfied with the outcome. Ask your doctor or surgeon about what steps to take before entering into surgery and take notes on what exactly you will need to do to prepare before the procedure.  

Learn About the Risks and Benefits, Then Focus on the Positive

Weigh the risks versus the benefits of your planned surgery. After doing this, imagine a smooth and successful operation. As you enter surgery, rather than dwelling on risks or potential complications, feel encouraged and have a positive attitude.

Reach Out to Those Who Have Had Success with Similar Procedures
Talk with others who have had the same procedure done. Ask your surgeon about his or her other patients and then talk to them in order to gain perspective. Listening to others’ success stories can help ease your mind.

Follow Through with Pre-Surgery Steps Given to You by Your Doctor
Make sure the notes you took during the initial meeting with your physician are carefully adhered to during the preparatory time before surgery. For example, certain operations require entering surgery on an empty stomach. Listen closely to all the necessary precautions that may interfere with anesthesia such as the risks of taking certain medications or supplements. Also, certain procedures require preparing the body at the incision site. For example, if the incision site is in the pelvic or underarm zone, you may be advised not to shave before surgery in order to minimize the risk of infection.

Arrange for Support Before and After Surgery
Before: If your tendency to stress or worry compromises your health mentally or physically, find someone such as a therapist, counselor or trustworthy friend to help you work through your emotions. The act of expressing yourself and releasing stress can be a huge relief.

After: Post-op, your energy and emotional state may be compromised, so ask for support from family and friends and then let yourself be cared for.

Take care of Your Health: Eat Well, Exercise and Limit Alcohol
It is critical to take care of your health since the body needs to remain free of any strains of infection and illness before undergoing surgery. Likewise,eating well-balanced meals and partaking in light to moderate exercise in the weeks or months prior to surgery has been shown to help promote the healing of surgical wounds. Reduce harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, excess sugar and nutritionally void foods. Ample amounts of alcohol in the blood can have life threatening effects during surgery such as exacerbating bleeding and liver damage.

Stay Positive after Surgery
As the surgeon and surgical team will take care of you during your operation, your job is to prepare as best as possible and stay positive. After surgery, reach out for help and remain motivated during the rehabilitation phase of your recovery.


More health news

Break Up With Your Dessert & Try This Healthier Option

Sometimes we all yearn for an over the top sweet dessert and once in a while it’s ok to indulge. Luckily when we get that craving there are some great handmade options sold locally.

Four Herbs for a Healthier You

Herbs have been used since the beginning of human existence to help regulate our bodies and ward off illness. At some point along the way we learned how to cook with them, make them into tea and into medicine. 

Pipa Fria: What in the World is this?

On one of our road trips in Costa Rica, we passed a roadside wooden “pipa fria” sign as our grown son exclaimed, “pull over!” He jumped out and returned with liquid filled plastic bags. As I asked “what in the world?” he replied, “Are you kidding? This is the best stuff around.” I now drink pipa fria daily – several times a day! I crave it.

Costa Rican Scientists Develop New Test for Cervical Cancer

Recently a group of researchers and physicians of the Costa Rican company BioTD invented a new method to diagnose cervical cancer, CitoFem. This new technique is a quicker and improved alternative to the 85-year old Pap smear. 


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