Preparing for the Knife: 10 Tips for Lifestyle Change Pre-Surgery

Preparing for surgery doesn’t have to be a scary process. The following tips will help you feel more calm and confident before you have your next surgery.

1. Understand your surgery. You have probably taken time to decide to have your surgery. Take time also to understand exactly why you are having surgery by discussing the surgery with your physician or health care provider.

2. Prepare mentally for your surgery. While you may not need to understand every detail about your upcoming surgery, you do need to understand enough about the surgery to know what to expect and how to prepare for it.

3. Learn to relax. There are many simple stress relieving techniques and types of meditation that you can practice before your surgery that will keep you relaxed before your surgery. These same techniques can also help you deal with any pain that may occur after the surgery and even keep your use of pain medications to a minimum. Prayer and meditation are two common ways to deal with stress before surgery.

4. Prepare yourself to recover and heal. If you need to prepare your home or family for your recovery, you can do this prior to your surgery. Then everything will be set for your return home after surgery.

5. Understand your doctor’s instructions. It is important that you have clear instructions before surgery. Ask lots of questions and follow your doctor’s instructions exactly.

6. Keep a positive outlook before surgery. If you expect to heal and feel better, studies show that you will recover faster.

7. Follow a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy foods. Get some exercise. Get enough sleep. Take care of yourself before surgery so you are ready to heal after surgery. Stop drinking alcohol and using recreational drugs, too.

8. Make a living will or other final arrangements. You may probably not need this information, but everyone needs to be prepared and have their final decisions made.

9. Know who will take you to and from your surgery ahead of time. You will not be able to drive, so have arrangements made before hand so you get home from the surgery safely.

10. Make any important decisions before the surgery. Medications and anesthesia can keep your mind from fully functioning after surgery.

If you are aware of your spiritual and emotional needs before surgery you will be prepared for the healing process after surgery.