Tips to prepare for your surgery

Surgery can put stress on your body. You’ll want to be as healthy and strong as possible in the weeks and days leading up to your surgery. The stronger you are, the better your body will recover from the procedure.

At least two weeks before surgery:

Set a regular sleep schedule and try to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep is important for healing and repair of your heart, other organs and blood vessels.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat milk products. Be sure to include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.

If you smoke, stop. Smoking increases the chances for surgical complications and infections.

Follow your physician’s directions for taking or stopping your regular medications before your surgery. Do not take any aspirin or Ibuprofen (or other blood-thinning products – read the labels carefully) before consulting with your surgeon.

Do not take vitamin E or any herbal supplement, including Metabolife, fish oil, lecithin, niacin, selenium, shark cartilage or green tea.

Drinking alcohol can have unpredictable effects or cause complications for surgery and anesthesia. Be honest with your doctors about how much and how often you drink. Stop drinking at least 48 hours before your surgery, to help lower your risk of complications.

Also:

Stop taking Imitrex 24 hours before surgery.

Preparations for, during or after your surgery:

Follow your doctor’s instructions about when to stop eating or drinking. Anesthesia can cause vomiting during or after an operation – and choking is a risk.

Tell your doctor if you have any health issues, including heart or lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, dental work, arthritis, or drug allergies.

Ask your doctor what you can do to get in better shape between now and your operation. People who are active and have healthy habits are often better able to handle surgery and its recovery time.

You may need a little help with regular activities after surgery. Before your surgery, ask your family and friends to stay with you for support. It may be best (in some cases required) to have a responsible adult to stay overnight with you for the first night.

You may feel pain, pressure or burning on or near your incision – and as you move. Your muscles might be sore, and you’ll likely be sleepy or fatigued. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions for rest, movement, bandaging and cleansing after your surgery.