You may be nervous before your surgery, but you shouldn’t be! We know of a number of ways you can start preparing for your successful surgery today. The best surgery results come to our patients who have positive attitudes and who make healthy choices in the weeks leading up to their surgery. It’s not too much, we promise.
This one shouldn’t be surprising to you. Alcohol is one of the most important things to avoid before getting an operation. It weakens the body – not good! If you’d like to know how it weakens the body here are a few ways:
- Alcohol causes significant dehydration which will increase swelling and slows down recovery from a surgery.
- It can also thin out the blood and increase the chances of bleeding during surgery.
- The greatest concern Dr. Perez-Soto has surrounding alcohol consumption is it’s ability to interact with medications. Often when alcohol is combined with medication it leads to nausea, dizziness, confusion, headaches, increased pain, fainting, internal bleeding and even more symptoms.
Please avoid consuming alcohol at least 48 hours prior to surgery.
Limit Caffeine Consumption
Coffee is allowed as long as it is not consumed in the 8 hours prior to the surgery. Coffee is a diuretic and causes water loss. Dr. Perez-Soto advises her patients to wean themselves off caffeine before surgery to reduce cravings and dependencies. This helps the body handle the strict, no-caffeine requirements after the surgery.
Dr. Perez-Soto cannot stress enough how vital good rest is. Rest leads to minimal stress and a more positive mind in preparation a patient’s surgery. She suggests that you get as much rest as you can. Most people rest better when they feel prepared and organized. Here are some ways to get your life ready so you can rest:
- Organize work affairs. Find a replacement if needed; prepare project loose ends; notify all those affected by your absence.
- Prepare home life. Make plans for family members who will be affected; have desired house cleaning/organizing projects completed weeks before the surgery date; appoint someone to be your caregiver and let them know what prescriptions and groceries you will need for recovery.
- Relaxation is the key ingredient for the calming the body and the mind while overcoming surgery-related anxiety. We recommend muscle relaxation and breathing exercises:
- sit or lay in a quiet, comfortable space
- close your eyes
- Focus on slow, steady inhalation and exhalation
- repeat every day for as long as you can to reduce stress hormones that often lead to post-surgery inflammation
Smoking is known to lead to a vast array of health issues; this is a well-known fact. Health risks caused by smoking are much greater for someone who is preparing to have surgery. Smoking can slow down the recovery process after a surgery because it weakens the body of optimal oxygen levels which are necessary to heal. Smoking can lead to the following risks during surgery:
- blood clotting
- heart attack
- in extreme cases – death
- Smokers have a more difficult time receiving appropriate oxygen while under anesthesia.
The cleveland clinic did an interesting study comparing surgical recovery for non-smokers and smokers. “In comparing smokers with former smokers, researchers found smokers were: 17 percent more likely to die; 53 percent more likely to have serious heart and lung problems. Yet former smokers who had quit at least a year before surgery had no increased risk of death compared to nonsmokers.” View study here . Dr. Perez-Soto recommends that patients plan to quit smoking at least two months before the surgery.
Eat plenty of whole foods and avoid processed foods wherever possible. Processed foods are far less nutritional in value than fresh and organic foods are. Your body needs essential vitamins and minerals to be able to heal itself and get strong. The best way to receive vitamins and nutrients is through fresh, raw food found in fruits and vegetables. You want your body to be on it’s optimal condition before surgery, to ensure minimal risk during the operation and successful post-op recovery. Dr. Perez-Soto always recommends that her patients eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water.
Dr. Oz and Roize inform : “Every cell in your body is made from the foods you eat, so give it the building blocks it’ll need for healing: five to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day and 100 percent whole grains and DHA omega-3 rich salmon and ocean trout are a good start!”
Stop taking supplements
Dr. Perez-Soto will consult with you about the appropriate supplements to take leading up to your surgery. In some cases baby aspirin and omega-3 are okay to continue taking, but not in all cases. Many botanicals interrupt the healing process, cause the blood to thin, or increase the likelihood of blood clotting or enhanced bleeding. Please avoid aspirin, motrin, Vitamin E, gingko and ginseng two weeks prior to the surgery date unless otherwise consulted by Dr. Perez-Soto. Consult with Dr. Perez-Soto about other supplements to avoid.
Many patients don’t realize how the tiniest cut or nick can allow bacteria to seep into the body and cause weakness. Bacteria from an open cut increases the body’s potential for illness especially during and post operation. You’re already going to be dealing with a lot of shock on the body, so to lower the likelihood of getting an infection, it’s best to avoid razors for a bit. Shave no less than 48 hours before surgery to avoid bacteria.
There are more ways to prepare for a successful surgery, but we like to keep things simple. Our patients don’t need to get overwhelmed by the conflicting research on the internet about pre-surgery steps. You should envision the pending life change that will follow a surgery and let that guide you. Dr. Perez-Soto tells her patients not to fret or stress about the pre-surgery preparations. As long as you do the best you can, all will be well! You can rest assured that you are in good hands with Dr. Perez-Soto and Gulf View General Surgery.
What do you think about these 7 tips? How do you prepare for surgery?