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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Short Guide to Preparing for Surgery

Whether you're having elective surgery or surgery strongly suggested by doctors to maintain your health, you always have to prepare. 

However, there's a right way and wrong way.

The wrong way is not thinking about the surgery until the day of.  Some people actually believe this "non-preparation" is the best kind of preparation.  Though avoiding thoughts of the surgery seems ideal, avoiding real life situations increases stress and prolongs the healing process. 

When you choose to actually prepare for surgery, you accept the surgery and open yourself up to the consequences and side-effects.  Being conscience of these allows you to take necessary actions before and after surgery.

Month Before Your Surgery

A month before is the latest you should start preparing mentally and physically for surgery.

You'll be tempted to think, "It's far away enough to not think about it now."  But this is not a healthy way of thinking.  You have to prepare physically and mentally a good while before surgery if you want your surgery to be a true success.  In addition to getting surgical results, you also need to concentrate on yourself.

Here are some ways you can prepare yourself mentally:


  • Read literature written by people who've undergone the same type of surgery and by doctors who perform the surgery.
  • Do imagery exercises to reduce stress and anxiety.  Programs like "Preparing for Surgery" are very beneficial.
  • Maintain an open conversation about future events between you and your doctor and family.

Here are some ways you can prepare yourself physically:


  • If you're in pain, consider pain management.
  • Practice yoga, stretching and similar exercises to reduce stress and improve physical health
  • Eat right.  Find health diet plans or fight the urge to binge eat because of stress and ruin your current health diet.

Week Before Your Surgery

Continue everything you did a month before mentioned above. 

A week before, or even earlier, is a good time to take off from your job if possible and take it easy.  However, if your work takes your mind away from anxious thoughts, it may be in your best interest to keep working until a few days prior to surgery.

With someone's help, go shopping for things you'll need after surgery.  Your favorite beverages, movies, music, frozen treats, etc.  This is your time to splurge!  Since you're putting yourself through a lot, it's necessary to treat yourself.  This will lift your spirit and give you something to look forward to. 

Whether you're having bariatric surgery or neurosurgery, it's important to remain positive the week prior.  Some studies show that a positive attitude decreases stress, increases immunity and, consequently, quickens the healing process.

Day Before Your Surgery

Spend time with your family and friends and, like before, continue practicing what you've been doing since the month before surgery.  Focus on targeting any negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.

Most importantly, remember why you're having the surgery: to create a better life for yourself.  That's something to feel optimistic and good about!

If you live in Oklahoma and are looking for great elective and general surgeons in Oklahoma City, contact Summit Medical Center today.  Call 405-359-9186 or contact us online.

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