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How to Prepare for Surgery

surgeons prepare in operation theatre

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the number of surgeries performed in the UK.

In 2020, for example, there were some 3.102 million surgical procedures performed in England and Wales, with this representing a 33.6% decrease on the forecast level of annual surgical activity.

This was to be expected given the lockdowns and impact of Covid-19 on the NHS, but normal service is expected to resume soon. If you’re scheduled to have an operation in the near term, the question that remains is what step can you take to prepare for surgery? Let’s find out.

#1. Know What to Expect

This is undoubtedly the single most important thing, as knowledge and understanding of the procedure that you’re scheduled to undergo can help to prepare you fully.

This includes all facets of the operation, from the precise medical equipment that will be used to the science behind the surgery and the underlying condition that you’re looking to treat.

Similarly, you should research precisely what to expect in terms of recovery post-surgery, as this will help to manage expectations with regards to the timeframe and ensure that you take the necessary steps with regards to hydration, diet and exercise.

This is particularly important with regard to complex operations like bypass surgery, which will also impact on digestion and your long-term diet.

#2. Focus on Health and Exercise

It’s important to prioritise exercise and physical activity both before and post-surgery, depending on your existing level of fitness and the impact of your operation.

Sure, you’ll have to create a manageable exercise regime that can be sustained over time, with a fit and strong body likely to cope with surgery better and drive a much quicker recovery once the operation has been carried out.

You can work with your healthcare team and practitioner to create a bespoke physiotherapy or recovery plan for you, once again depending on the precise operation that you have.

In general terms, however, it’s crucial that you take the time to undertake basic strength and conditioning exercises and yoga, while the latter will also help the processes of meditation and maintaining a positive sense of mental well-being.

#3. Talk About Your Operation

On the topic of mental well-being, it’s imperative that you communicate openly and honestly about your operation and any concerns that you may have before the surgery.

Certainly, it’s natural to be scared or anxious ahead of even minor surgery, so be sure to confide in friends and your support network and try to achieve much-needed peace of mind.

Similarly, you could consult with your doctor and share your concerns, while also informing your long-term recovery and ensuring that your home is comfortable.

This is a key consideration, as being prepared for every eventuality makes it far easier to cope with surgery and recover effectively.