Pre-Surgical Actions for Stress Relief and Improved Recovery

Undergoing surgery, whether elective, doctor-recommended, low or high risk, is an arduous journey that affects all areas of health and wellness, alters home life and work lives – permanently or temporarily – in unexpected ways. Unfortunately, many patients fail to consider all factors when prepping for their operation, leading them to experience anxiety that prolongs recovery.

Extending Beyond the Guidance of Healthcare Professionals

Prepping for surgery usually means following your surgeon’s orders, such as stopping eating after a certain time or taking (or discontinuing) certain medication, or making arrangements for post-surgery transportation.

Though following your doctor’s orders is essential, there’s more to medical preparation than meets the eye. Going beyond what the doctor prescribes can only do so much; continue reading for advice.

Communicate with Your Employer

Scheduling time off work when undergoing surgery is standard practice; however, you must do more than submit a leave request – instead speak with your employer about your procedure, expected recovery period, potential side effects and risks (and how that could impact your return date or performance), etc.

Know Your Options Your employer can provide guidance about all of the possible remedies, such as paid time off, family leave, disability accommodations and reasonable accommodations – that way when something unexpected comes up they know which course of action to take.

Connect with Your Family

Don’t just announce your surgery news to everyone you know – instead, have an honest conversation with those directly affected. Your long-term partner or spouse should be your go-to support source, and discussing every detail so they know exactly what’s happening and how they can assist is ideal.

If you have children, it’s important to speak to them about your surgery in a way appropriate to their age. While no need for elaborate explanations, make sure they understand how your health and their everyday routines will change until your recovery.

Create a Post-Care Strategy (and Seek Assistance)

To create an effective aftercare plan, the most efficient method is to review all information provided by your physician, medical specialist or surgeon. By looking closely at every detail you can identify potential risks, side effects, medications, dietary needs, physical limitations and precautions necessary during recovery.

Although every surgery, aftercare need, and lifestyle is unique, having a plan in place is vital for supporting recovery efforts and simplifying life after surgery. For instance, after tooth extraction you will likely require a soft food diet for optimal healing; prepare by purchasing these items, prepping meals or asking a loved one to assist.

Your aftercare plan must include your obligations to others, like your children. If you need to go into hospital, be on bed rest, use a wheelchair, or are otherwise unable to provide for their needs, someone should fill that role for you. Whether that means calling in relatives for babysitting services, having someone transport them between school and home or enlisting the assistance of your spouse for cooking homework: it’s essential that their daily lives continue as normally as possible.

Planning for Emergencies

No one enjoys planning for emergency situations during surgery arrangements, but it is a reality you must address. There is always the possibility that something could go wrong and being prepared is key. Anyone undergoing surgery should have in place living wills, last wills and testaments and an appointed representative to handle their affairs so if an adverse situation arises there’s a step-by-step plan on managing health, long-term care finances children or final affairs should they arise.

Modern advancements have rendered elective and essential surgeries less invasive and more effective, leading to reduced pain, side effects, and recovery time. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee a positive result and recovery is always required – thus patients should assess all factors involved and formulate a plan designed to ease stress while improving healing before, during, and after surgery.

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