5 Things You Have To Do To Prepare For Any Surgery


Have you been scheduled to undergo surgery, and you are not sure how you should prepare? There are several steps to take before surgery that highly depend on the sort of procedure that will be done. However, here are some things you can do regardless of what type of surgery you plan to undergo. These things are meant to aid in safe surgery and quick recovery.

 Eat Right

In anticipation for your surgery, you don’t want to fill your body with a lot of red meat, processed foods, or anything that would be difficult to digest – surgery is stressful enough without the extra effort of digesting difficult foods. Instead, be sure to eat foods that have lots of vitamins and minerals, which are much more easily digestible and will decrease the chance of inflammation from the shock of surgery.

The foods you should eat to prepare for surgery include:

It is also significantly important to avoid all food and drinks at least eight hours before undergoing anesthesia, as the alternative could be aspiration pneumonia or other severe complications after surgery if instructions are not followed.


Say Goodbye to Harmful Habits

 Take advantage of the time before surgery to eliminate bad habits such as drinking alcohol, using tobacco products, or using any other substances which might influence your sleeping or eating patterns, or your mood. The use of these substances could affect your sleeping and anxiety in anticipation of the surgery. If you’re a smoker, putting down the cigarettes – even if the surgery is in the next day or two – will reduce the risk of a harmful reaction to the surgery or the anesthesia.

Patients with upcoming surgery also need to limit their alcohol consumption. Even drinking in moderation has been shown to increase recovery times and diminish the immune system, increasing the risk of infection after the surgery.


Talk to Your Internist

 Communication is key! If you have enough time to do so, be sure to keep your primary doctor or internist apprised of your surgery. He/she might have recommendations or medication changes to make in anticipation to ensure the best outcome.

Blood pressure and blood sugar are very important factors as well and need to be under control. For diabetics in particular, the more control you have over these factors, the faster your wound will heal and the smoother the recovery will be.

Internists play an important role in preparing a patient for surgery by:

Tell your physician anesthesiologist everything that has to do with your health, exercise habits, and any chronic issues you may have, such as:

Also provide a list of all medications you take including prescriptions, over-the-counter meds, supplements, etc. Double-check with your doctor if you should be taking your usual medications for chronic illnesses (including diabetes, heart problems, breathing problems, or anything that thins your blood). The dosages may need to be adjusted, or you may need to stop taking some or all of them for surgery.


Exercise More Often

Try to be as active as you possibly can in the time leading up to the procedure. Doing this will help you start walking sooner in post-op. If you are not much on the athletic side, keep in mind there is so much you can do to ensure your body is getting some form of exercise.

Activities to increase fitness may include:

Adding any of these activities to your day may also improve sleep and help you maintain a healthy weight. Strengthening exercises can also be helpful for recovery.

Emotionally prepare yourself

 This step may not seem like much, but it is essential. Many people fear surgery and medical procedures in general, which is natural. If you are afraid, there’s no need to be embarrassed about telling your anesthesiologist. He/she can give you information to help you feel more relaxed and ease your anxieties.

If reassurance from your doctor is not enough, adopting a positive attitude yourself and preparing emotionally and physically will also help.

Ways to emotionally prepare yourself include:

These tips can help put your mind at ease and keep you thinking about getting home safely and returning to life as you know it. You can also always turn to your friends and family for some emotional comfort. The last thing your loved ones will want is for you to feel scared and anxious.

Spend enough time preparing. This includes staying healthy, learning about the upcoming procedure, and learning about the doctors and nurses who will be performing it. Planning is one of the most important steps to be sure your procedure is successful, the healing process is smooth, and recovery is quick and easy.

Dr. John Knight
Dr. John Knight

Dr. Knight is a renowned hand, wrist and upper extremity surgeon with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Knight is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Fellowship trained. Dr Knight has appeared on CNN, The Doctors TV, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Oxygen network and more.