Having surgery is always a big deal. It’s important that your physical body be prepared (that’s why we ask you lots of questions about your health and do lab work beforehand) but it’s equally important that you be mentally prepared. One of my patients, who has experienced multiple surgeries with me, has put together this list of tips & tricks to help you have a smooth recovery.
– Prepare your house for recovery: scrub and sanitize your bathtub, stock your fridge with things that will be easy to make, and get your bed or couch ready with pillows or favorite blankets.
– Do laundry beforehand, make sure you have lots of comfy pants to wear since you will not want anything restrictive around your abdomen.
– Get your bills paid and errands done before surgery. Your priority is going to be sleeping and healing.
– It is required that someone stay with you the first 24 hours after surgery, but it’s really nice to have company for the first few days. Arrange to have someone come over and hang out for the day. Remind them to bring a book or activity to do while you’re sleeping.
– Prepare a medication check-sheet for after surgery. When you take an anti-inflammatory or pain killer, write it down along with the time. You will be sleepy and groggy after surgery, and this will make it so much easier to keep track of things.
– Rent movies in advance. Just because you’re having surgery doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your time off!
– If you have kids, talk to them about the surgery and helping take care of Mommy afterward. “Mommy’s going to need special nurses,” “No climbing on Mommy’s tummy,” etc.
– Although complications from surgery are unlikely, make a back up plan just in case. Who’s going to come over and feed the dog if you end up in a hospital for a few days?
– If you are nervous about the upcoming surgery, go for a nice walk or gentle bike ride the day beforehand. Gentle activity and fresh air will help calm you down.
-The week of surgery make sure to eat lots of healthy foods!
– Bring a piece of paper with you to surgery that has a list of all your medications and the last time you took each one. Also, write down any additional questions you have.
-Don’t worry if you couldn’t get any sleep the night before surgery; you’ll be sleeping plenty.