Wondering how to prepare before a surgery? Here’s what you need to know before you head to the hospital.
January 22, 2021
Every year, millions of people get some type of surgery. In fact, the average American will undergo nine surgical procedures in their lifetime. But how do we prepare before a surgery, exactly? Consider these tips to help begin the healing process as quickly as possible.
If you’re planning to have surgery, you’ll want to spend some time preparing. This means learning as much as you can about the procedure and getting to know the doctors who will be taking care of you.
Planning ahead ensures you have a successful procedure and heal faster with a smooth recovery. There are a few steps you should take before your procedure, so you’ll feel as prepared as possible. Start with answering these questions:
You’ll be asked to come in a few hours before your scheduled procedure. A nurse will conduct a pre-operative assessment, including taking your vital signs and starting an IV, and you will get changed into a hospital gown.
The anesthesiologist will then speak with you in the pre-operative area to discuss your anesthesia. Different types of anesthesia may be used for your surgery and will depend on your personal medical history, the type of procedure and your surgeon’s preference. With all types of anesthesia, you will be monitored closely to provide you with the safest anesthetic and best surgical outcome possible.
Lastly, your surgeon will visit with you to confirm the procedure you are having and the surgical site. Sometimes, your body will also be marked while you are awake. This will prevent the wrong body part or wrong side of the body from being operated on.
Some operations can be done where you go home the same day you had surgery; this is called outpatient surgery. Once anesthesia has cleared, you are evaluated to make sure you can go home okay. If you received anesthesia, you will not be allowed to take yourself home, you will need someone to help you go home.
Other operations require you to stay in the hospital afterwards, sometimes it is for a night, sometimes longer. You could recover in a regular hospital bed, or you may need to recover in a more monitored setting, like an intensive care unit.
What is important is that you have this conversation with your surgeon beforehand. They should prepare you as to what your recovery will look like, and what your hospital stay will be like. Know that if you have to stay in the hospital, you will have a team of people looking after you, including physicians, nurses, and other members of the hospital staff.