Worried about your surgery?
You’re not alone! Over 300 million people worldwide have surgery every year and it can be a little scary. But don’t worry, the guide below will help increase the chances of a successful surgery.
I know that the idea of surgery can be anxiety-inducing, but I want to help you feel confident and excited about your procedure to improve or repair whatever ails you. That’s why I put together this list with everything you need to know before, during, and after your surgery. Follow this easy guide and you’ll be on the road to recovery in no time.
Let’s get started!
I partner with awesome companies that offer products that help support our readers! If you purchase through these links on this site, I may get paid for the referral at no additional cost to you! For more information, visit my disclosure page.
Tips and Techniques for a Successful Surgery and Quicker Recovery
Surgery is a big deal and can be a scary experience. If you choose to have surgery, you are putting your faith in the surgeon to repair whatever is wrong and exposing yourself to risk.
It’s not something to be taken lightly. But if you’re getting surgery, there are things you can do to increase your chances of a good outcome and resume your regular activities.
Do Your Homework
1. Participate in Decision Making: Patients who are actively involved in decision-making about their care have been shown to have better surgical outcomes than those who are not involved. This includes things like choosing the right surgeon and being involved in designing your treatment plan.
Choose an experienced surgeon who is board-certified and fellowship trained in the specific area you need surgery. Those that are trained and up to date with the latest procedures and digital technologies are usually the best equipped to yield excellent results.
2. Know what to expect: Before any surgery, doctors should always be discussing what to expect from the process in detail with their patients. This includes what to expect regarding pain, healing time, and physical therapy. The medical staff will help with insurance clearance and medications. Being aware of these things before surgery will help ensure a better outcome while also reducing chances for complications.
3. Get a second opinion: If you are unsure about proceeding with surgery, get a second opinion. The more confident and comfortable you are during your operation, the greater the chance you have of experiencing a new lease on life.
4. Be the first case: If at all feasible, try to have your case scheduled for the early part of the day. Morning cases are when personnel is most energetic and the hospital is ready to face the day. Afternoon shift changes can be stressful and disorganized. A positive morning mood while maintaining staff interaction is the ideal environment.
Prepare Your Body
1. Prehab: Prehabilitation, or prehab, is a form of exercise and physical therapy that is designed to prevent injuries from occurring. It is especially beneficial for those who are regularly active or participating in prehab prior to surgery for quicker recovery.
Prehab is done before surgery to help prepare your body for the stress of surgery and improve your post-operative outcomes.
Prehabilitation participation in physical therapy and/or exercises recommended by your doctor before surgery to assist increase range of motion, building strength, and decreasing discomfort. This will help to build up your strength and conditioning before your surgery, making it easier for you to recover afterward. All of which will aid in the success of your operation.
For example, a person who is about to have a total knee replacement might concentrate on quadricep muscles to help strengthen knee extension, so that post-surgery rehab is much easier. Other prehab exercises may include balance exercises that help to improve coordination and stability.
“Prehabilitation can be as important as performing rehabilitation after abilitation after surgery. Most of the time, performing exercises prior to surgery can shorten the amount of rehab a patient will have after surgery”. — William N Pepe, Physical Therapist Assistant, Lake Center for Rehab, Soon to be Director of rehabilitation at Sumter Senior Living in the Villages, Florida. Former Physical Therapy Educator at the College of Central Florida.
2. Lower Your BMI: Having a high BMI (body mass index) can create complications during surgery and increase your risk of complications after surgery, especially with anesthesia. To lower your BMI and increase your chances for a successful surgery, consider getting healthier (whatever you are functionally able to) more leading up to your procedure.
3. Nutrition: As stated above, improving your health will help lose some weight. Doctors understand that proper nutrition, whether your doctor refers you to a nutritionist or prescribes to you a program (protocol), can affect the surgery and speed up wound healing.
You can certainly adopt a Ketovore diet like me for quick results, but you need a diet to minimize inflammation and avoid foods that create inflammation within the body.
Ideally, it would be best to control or eliminate all sugar, processed carbs, and seed oils, and eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals that will help promote the healing of bones and tissue and cell repair post-surgery.
The list of anti-inflammatory foods is pretty long, but some foods like leafy greens, lean proteins, berries, and nuts are all great options, but it’s beneficial to focus on the best protein and fat food sources to help with bone and tissue healing post-surgery.
Supplements like vitamin D3, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids would also be beneficial.
4. Hydrate: Proper hydration is important for many reasons, especially before surgery. Proper hydration helps to thin the blood and improve circulation. This is important because it can help to reduce the risk of complications during surgery.
5. Quit Smoking: I know smokers hate to hear this but quit smoking at least 6 weeks before your surgery date to decrease the risk of complications and improve healing time.
Smoking cigarettes has the potential to cause several problems during surgery and after surgery. Smoking lowers blood flow, which can impede wound healing. It is critical to quit smoking before having surgery.
6. Get a Massage: Getting lymphatic massages before surgery can help reduce inflammation and swelling. This can lead to a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery time overall. They can also help improve the range of motion and reduce pain levels.
This form of compression therapy can also help reduce swelling and improve healing after surgery. It is best to wait until after your incisions have healed before getting a massage.
7. Breathe deeply: Learning some breathing and visualization techniques before surgery can help calm your nerves on the day of the procedure.
The simple technique is just taking deep breaths which helps improve circulation and oxygenation of the blood, which then can speed up healing after surgery.
- OR Try 3 sets of 4 sec in, hold, out, hold. You have room to play with this for what works best.
Visualization techniques can also help promote relaxation and aid in healing. Whether you just close your eyes and imagine a successful outcome and return to your daily life, or you explore a little technology like VR (Virtual Reality).
Guided meditation is one type of visualization technique that can be helpful both before and after surgery.
These techniques may also help speed up your recovery by reducing stress levels post-op.
8. Last check: Meeting with your medical team to make sure that all of your pain medication is suitable for your current medical condition if any need to be updated, it would be a good time to have it updated now.
9. Get A Good Night’s Sleep: Finally, be sure to get plenty of rest before your big day! A good night’s sleep will help boost your immune system and promote healing.
If you have trouble falling asleep, consider insomnia therapy solutions. This might be difficult if you suffer from insomnia, so look to remedy your sleep issue as soon as possible. A commitment to enhancing things here will aid the recovery process.
The Big Day
1. Stay Calm: It is natural to feel some anxiety on the day of your surgery, but try to stay as calm as possible. Taking slow, deep breaths can help keep you relaxed during the procedure.
2. Ask questions: This isn’t a routine occurrence for you, even if you’ve done everything necessary, so If something doesn’t seem correct or you have questions… ASK! There are numerous people involved in the process who must all be on the same page.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Orders: It’s important to follow all of your surgeon’s orders before and after surgery to ensure the best possible outcome. This includes things like taking all of your pain medication as prescribed (make sure that they are correct), going to all of your follow-up appointments, and following any special instructions for wound care or activity restrictions.
Also Worth Noting
1. Use Digital Technologies: Many digital technologies can aid in recovery after surgery, such as apps for pain management and tracking progress, as well as virtual reality games that can help with rehabilitation exercises.
More providers are taking advantage of RPM (remote patient monitoring) tools to stay better connected to their patients. They can provide valuable support during your recovery process.
2. Red light therapy: Red light therapy (or PBM therapy) can help you recover faster. Due to the increased cellular metabolism, PBM therapy has been shown to help with inflammation, pain, circulation issues, wound healing, and scarring.
3. ARP wave therapy: ARP way therapy is a type of electrical stimulation that has been shown to help with pain management and healing after surgery.
4. Wear compression garments: Wearing compression garments along with cold therapy protocols after surgery can help with pain, swelling, and bruising.
5. Stay Positive: Having a positive attitude has been shown to improve surgical outcomes, so try to stay positive throughout the process—from pre-op through post-op!
6. Be Realistic: Finally, it’s important to have realistic expectations about what surgery can do for you. Discussing these expectations with your surgeon before surgery will help ensure that you are both on the same page about what the goal of the procedure is and what you can expect in terms of results afterward.
Surgery is a significant operation, but there are things you can do to enhance your chances of having a positive result— from preparing your body ahead of time with prehabilitation exercises to being realistic about what the surgery may accomplish afterward.
Predictive medicine is making it possible for people to have successful surgeries with fewer complications. But, until then, following these tips will help you be prepared: Both before and after surgery, doing small things like these will make a big difference.
These actions will not guarantee a good outcome, but they will help you maximize your chances of success and put your mind at ease knowing that there are things you can do to participate in your recovery!