How to prepare for your upcoming surgical procedure
Surgery! Certain conditions, or the severity of your condition, may necessitate a surgical intervention. This can be a very stressful time. But with proper preparation, you can feel more comfortable and confident, and be able to heal properly. These are a few of my tips:
Write down your questions. Contact the office before your appointment to get some of your answers over the phone. There are many things that are common to all procedures.
Talk to the PA or nurse- they often have more time to spend with you and are a great resource. Don’t underestimate their value!
Bring a friend to help you remember what was said in pre-op meetings, or get an audio recording!
Review written materials carefully. Again, write down any questions you have.
Consider “pre-habilitation.” The stronger you are before an orthopedic surgery, the easier it will be for you to rehabilitate afterwards.
Do your homework! Home exercise programs provided by your surgeon and physical therapist are a critical part of your recovery.
Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a nutritious diet. Your body needs nutrients and rest to help heal.
Avoid smoking. Smoking limits the amount of oxygen that can be transported by your circulatory system, which increases the amount of time it takes you to heal.
Use your support system. Family, friends, and your community can lend a hand with everything from driving and food preparation to child and pet care.
Be patient with yourself. Every surgery, no matter how minor, takes time to heal. You are likely to feel more tired as a lot of your energy is going toward tissue repair and recovery.
Arrange for any needed physical therapy as soon as you know your surgical date. Depending on the procedure and your individual circumstances, you may need to spend additonal time at a hospital, at a rehabilitation facility, or with home physical therapy. However, in many cases, you can start outpatient physical therapy within a few days after your procedure.