Person Stressing Out Before Surgery

Pre-Op Prep: How To Get Your Mind & Body Ready For Surgery

Follow these tips to ensure you're prepared, proactive, and positive during your procedure. 

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We must look after ourselves during our lives; there’s no debate about that.

You need to eat a balanced diet, get some exercise a few times a week, moderate your alcohol intake, avoid too many snack foods and lollies, and carve out some leisure time for yourself.

Throw in your social life, chores, errands, and other tasks, and managing it all can be challenging.

Yet you’ve got to try your best.

However, no matter how hard we try, sometimes life throws you a curve ball regarding your health.

You may have some surgery coming up – a day procedure, rhinoplasty surgery, a hip replacement, dental surgery, or something else – that you need to prepare for.

But how should you prepare for surgery?

It can be difficult to know, especially if you haven’t had surgery before.

This helpful article will share the pre-op prep, and you’ll learn how to prepare your mind and body for surgery.

Read on to learn more.


Follow the Doctor’s Instructions 


The first thing to do is to follow the doctor’s instructions to a tee.

There is no room for negotiation here; you must do this.

Failure to do so can result in a catastrophic outcome during surgery.

This is because anesthesia is a complex undertaking that requires specific things from the patient before surgery, such as fasting.

Ensure you don’t eat or drink anything from when the doctor tells you – this is usually the night before.

You may be allowed a sip of water to take medications with, but anything else is off the table, literally.

There may be other instructions, such as following a specific diet if you’re having a colonoscopy and need to prepare your bowels for the procedure.

Again, follow the instructions precisely, and everything will be fine.


Prepare Your Mind


Preparing for surgery can make you anxious, as there are many factors to consider and possible outcomes.

Some surgeries have a chance of failure, and the more complex ones also carry other significant risks.

Even with highly qualified and proficient surgeons, issues can arise that can pose a severe risk to your health and life.

This is enough to make anyone anxious – so if you’re feeling nervous or overwhelmed, understand that it’s perfectly normal to feel that way.

You may want to engage in some self-care practice leading to the surgery to keep your mind in a reasonable frame.

For instance, there may be a hobby or activity that you can engage in to try to calm your mind a bit.

You may enjoy jigsaw puzzles, board or card games, tinkering in the garage, or painting.

Whatever it is, try to engage in something enjoyable that will bring you some comfort, joy, and pleasure during this stressful time.


Read About the Procedure


Another way to prepare your mind is to read about the procedure leading up to the day.

Knowledge is power, and learning more about what’s coming up can help you feel better prepared for the event.

Your doctor should be able to provide some resources, but Google can also help.

Just remember that Google and websites are not medical professionals, so try not to diagnose yourself or focus too much on the risks or potential adverse outcomes.


Talk to Friends and Family, or a Professional


Another way to prepare your mind for the upcoming surgery is to stay open and frank with your family and friends.

Talking about it and your thoughts and feelings leading up to your procedure can help prepare your mind and reduce any distress you may be feeling.

If you see a mental health professional, such as a counselor or psychologist, you should speak with them about your thoughts, feelings and concerns about your upcoming procedure.

They can suggest some strategies and tips to prepare and be a comforting presence during a difficult time.


Consider Meditation or Mindfulness 


Some folks swear by meditation or mindfulness exercises to help calm and quieten their mind, so this may be worth a shot.

It’s not for everyone, though; some people find peace during a long walk with music, while others prefer exercising.

However, you’ll need to follow your doctor’s orders regarding how much physical activity you can partake in, as some surgeries require lots of rest beforehand.

As always, follow the physician’s instructions.


Prepare Your Body – Stay Hydrated


It’s always good to stay hydrated; you should drink anywhere from 1.5-2 liters of water a day, no matter your health status, but leading up to surgery is not a time to neglect this necessity of life.

Stay adequately hydrated to ensure you feel healthy and fresh before your procedure.

Some people find plain water boring to drink, so some alternatives include mineral water, sparkling water, green tea, or water with a splash of cordial.

Avoid drinks with high sugar content, such as most soft drinks.

Alcohol is best in moderation or not at all – again, this will depend on your pre-surgery information and directions.


Quit Smoking or Vaping


If you smoke or vape nicotine-containing liquid, you’ll want to quit before the surgery.

Quitting will assist your recovery and ensure you’re in reasonable condition before your procedure.

Nicotine can interfere with the anesthetic and can cause complications.

You’ll be doing your body a favor by quitting leading up to the surgery.


A Pre-Surgery Summary


This article has covered pre-op prep and how you can get your mind and body ready for surgery.

It’s essential to emphasize that while this article provides general advice, everyone’s medical situation is unique.

Therefore, the primary and most crucial source of guidance should always come from one’s healthcare provider.

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