Under The Knife: Preparing For Your Upcoming Operation


How To Prepare For Your Operation

If you know you have an operation scheduled, chances are you will be pretty nervous. It’s not the nicest predicament to be in, but if you’ve decided to go ahead, it’s because it can either save your life or dramatically improve your quality of life. If you have an operation on the horizon, here are some of the things you could be doing to get yourself into the best position possible.

Stop Smoking, Drinking and Taking Drugs

Smoking starves your cells of oxygen, which is bad news usually but especially so when you’ve been operated on. Smokers take longer to heal which of course increases the chance of infection. Smoking can also make anesthesia riskier, so it’s advised that you stop for as long as possible before the surgery. Smoking and taking illicit drugs can also lead to longer recovery times and more risks, if you are alcohol dependent there are measures that can be taken to control your symptoms before the surgery.

Eat Healthily

When your body has everything it needs, you will thrive and heal far better and put yourself in the best position for a healthy surgery. In the run-up to your operation, focus on eating as healthily as possible. Plenty of fresh produce, lean protein, and dairy, whole grains, lots of nuts and seeds and high mineral content foods. Depending on your condition, exercise to allow your body to be as fit and strong as it can be is useful too.

Lose Excess Weight

If you’re eating healthily and exercising, you will naturally lose any excess fat you’re carrying. This is useful as the heavier you are, the more risk that comes with being put under anesthetic. If you’re very overweight, it could be worth speaking to your doctor about the best plan of action or starting a meal replacement diet. These allow you to lose around a stone a month in a healthy way which can put you in a much safer position to go under the knife.

Avoid Anything That Can Make You Bleed Excessively

There are some foods and medicines which can thin the blood and cause excess bleeding which is, of course, to be avoided when you’re having an operation. This includes herbal medicine, aspirin, fish oil, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and vitamin E are a few things to be wary of.

Get Your Finances in Order

Will you be paying for your operation yourself, going through insurance or will it be paid by the state? Either way, you will need to work out exactly where the funds are coming from. Make sure everything is in order, if something isn’t right you could be accused of medical fraud even if you didn’t mean to. Make sure you factor in the cost of the operation and the recovery time, if you have to take a while off work for example this will affect the money you have to live on in the short term.

Prepare Your Home

As well as preparing yourself for your operation, it’s worth preparing your home too. If you’re not going to be easily able to climb the stairs, you might want to set up a bed in the front room while you recover. Get everything clean, and in order, so you don’t have to worry about doing it, you might need to hire a cleaner or some home help such as a dog walker if you don’t have friends who can help. Cook up some meals, divide them into portions and pop them in the freezer. That way you have healthy, homecooked meals ready to go beforehand so you can eat well after your op.

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