A Patient’s Guide To Preparing For Surgery

Are you booked in for surgery? If so, you may be feeling anxious and apprehensive about what is to come.

It’s important to mention that it is completely natural to feel that way and even people who’ve had plenty of surgeries in their lifetime will feel the same way each time too. 

The waiting list for hospital treatment in the UK was over 7 million people long last year which may mean you’ve been waiting a long time for your surgery which can often add to present feelings of anxiety by allowing plenty of time for worrying and overthinking.

One of the best methods to take the edge of things is to eliminate the fear of the unknown and to prepare as best as you can for what is to come.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you feel more at ease and prepare yourself better for your surgery to ensure it goes smoothly as well as make the recovery as straightforward as possible. 

Patient’s Guide: Joint Replacement Part 1: Preparing for Surgery

Being sure that surgery is the best option 

Being sure that surgery is the best option 

Of course, it is important to be aware that surgery is often regarded as a last resort and your medical surgeon is responsible for performing a series of detailed assessments to rule out other, less invasive solutions and to eliminate unnecessary procedures or surgical errors.

It is also important to note that, just because surgery is recommended by a medical practitioner, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the correct option for you. 

If you are on the fence about potentially going under the knife there are several things that you can consider that may help you come to a decision: 

  • How is your ailment affecting your daily quality of life? Are pain and discomfort affecting your general health and well-being? This could include lacking independence, having limited mobility, or even affecting your mood and general mental health. 
  • Is your condition getting worse/deteriorated over some time? It is common for individuals to put off surgical procedures in the hope that their issues will become manageable however this could potentially cause further damage to the tissue or other parts of the body in the long run.  
  • How effective have other treatments been? Common, non-surgical treatments can include medications, physiotherapies, and/or injections.
  • Such treatments are usually associated with pain-related issues and are often offered before resorting to surgery. 

Having surgery is a big decision and often having a look at the bigger picture by considering the above can help you and your surgeon come to a definitive decision. 

Frequently asked questions

When you’re told you need surgery, a million thoughts may run around in your head. This may mean you forget to ask your doctor some of your important questions. To help, here are some of the surgery FAQs and their answers:

Can a surgical procedure be performed without patient consent? 

No, consent must be given before any treatment begins. If the patient is not of sound mind, however, consent may be passed on to their family members.

It is also important to be aware that it is also the medical practitioner’s responsibility to provide the details of the proposed procedure and to relay the risks that may be involved. 

Will I need to fast and how for? 

Most often, you’ll be asked to not eat or drink for a set amount of time before surgery. These amounts will be communicated to you by your doctor or nurse beforehand.

What should I take with me? 

Most surgeries will require some recovery time in the hospital, so pack a bag full of clothes for several days as well as your essential items like phone chargers and toothbrushes.

What are my anesthesia options?

Not all surgery will require this but should you need it, your medical professional will suggest the best one for you.

Dependent on the procedure that you require you will likely receive either general, regional, or local anesthesia which will either be administered intravenously or via injection.  

How to prepare for surgery

Do the following to ensure you feel calm and eliminate any added nerves before surgery and are prepared for the recovery period too: 

  • Contact your local taxi firm and arrange transport or ask a loved one to take you
  • Shower before you leave the house so, you’re feeling fresh
  • Book time off work for recovery 
  • Make your home as comfortable as possible before leaving, so it’s ready for you
  • Stock your fridge with food, so you’re all set for the weeks ahead

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before going into surgery but rest assured, you’ll be under the very capable hands of the NHS doctors who will do their best to look after you.

Prepare properly too and you’ll be on the road to recovery as soon as possible.