Preparing for Your Surgery

If you and your doctor decide that surgery is necessary, you’ll need to learn what to expect from the procedure and create a treatment plan for the best possible results in recovery.

Mental and physical preparation for surgery is an important step toward a successful operation. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover quickly and reduce the risk of complications.

Pre-Surgery

Before surgery, your doctor will conduct a physical examination to ensure you don’t have any conditions that will interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before major surgery. 

Here is a checklist to follow for your pre-surgery plan:
  • Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor to see if you need to stop taking them for the surgery. For example, anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped a week before surgery to minimize bleeding during the operation.
  • Discuss options for preparing potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions, and other treatments.
  • Smoking should be stopped or cut down prior to surgery to reduce risks and improve your recovery.
  • Tooth, gum, bladder, or bowel problems should be treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
  • Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed when infections are present.
  • Arrange for someone to help out post-surgery with tasks like cooking, shopping, and laundry.
  • Place items you use often within easy reach prior to surgery.
  • Remove any loose carpets or electrical cords to avoid falls.
  • Make sure you have a stable chair at home with a firm seat cushion, firm back, and two arms.

See Recovering After Your Surgery checklist>>

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