What you need to know before getting surgery What you need to know before getting surgery

Before undergoing a surgical procedure, it is important to be physiologically and psychologically prepared.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, prior to surgery, certain medical exams are often ordered such as blood, kidney, liver and blood sugar tests, chest x-rays and electrocardiograms. In addition to a person’s physical health, it is also important to have a good state of mind, as being too scared or having too much anxiety or stress can affect how you recover after surgery.

It is important to know what the surgery entails. The surgery may be outpatient, in which case the patient is generally released the same day of the operation and it involves less risk and preventative measures, or it can be more complex. Whatever the case may be, following a few general precautions can help reduce risk during the surgery and to recover faster afterwards.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers the following suggestions:

  •     Stop smoking or reduce how much you smoke for a few weeks before your operation, as during the procedure, anesthesia requires greater lung capacity.
  •     With a medical specialist, go over the medications your taking in order to determine if they will interfere with surgery or if they need to be suspended, if necessary. Be sure to tell your medical specialist about any types of medications you are taking, including vitamins, medicinal herbs and supplements.
  •     Having a special diet may be necessary. Depending on the procedure, your medical professional will indicate what measures you should take. The day before surgery, stay away from alcohol and limit the amount of food you eat.
  •     Diabetic patients should have good glucose levels before surgery in order to prepare for a good recovery.

Depending on your age, state of health, or the type of procedure you are having, other exams may be ordered or more complex preoperative care may be required for you.

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