PREPARING FOR SURGERY
You have been told you need surgery. Your surgeon gave you some instructions but you just can’t remember what he/she said. Your anaesthetist also had some concerns. You are confused. What do you have to do?
Don’t worry, we will help you prepare for surgery. First let us see what you need to do in the days leading up to the big day. Before surgery you need improve your general health with some simple life style modifications. Basically these include the following:
• EAT HEALTHY – A healthy diet improves your nutritional status. Take a dieticians consult if you have special concerns like diabetes or genetic metabolic abnormalities. Poor nutritional status (like a low serum albumin level) is associated with poor surgical outcomes.
• EXERCISE – Continue your daily exercise routine. If you are not exercising, start with a simple daily walk. In addition practice deep breathing exercise – just inhale deeply and hold your breath for a few seconds or pranayama. This greatly helps your lung function and improves your recovery from anaesthesia.
• STOP SMOKING – We know it is difficult, but we have good reasons. Smoking impairs your wound healing and increases the chances of infection. Additionally, it adversely affects your lung function in more ways than one and increases the risk of anaesthesia related complications.
Disclose all the medication that you are taking (allopathic or others) to you surgeon and anaesthesiologist. Certain medicines like blood thinners may have to be stopped a week prior to surgery. Some doses may need to be modified or some tests may be required to make sure your disease is under control.
On the night prior to surgery, have a simple dinner and relax. Watch a movie or spend time with your loved ones. Try to sleep on time.
Follow this simple check-list on the day of surgery to be fully prepared.
Pre-surgery Check List
• Any changes in your health (even minor ones such as a cold or cough) should be reported to your surgeon or anaesthesiologist prior to your surgery.
• Follow orders given to you by your surgeon or anaesthesiologist, and obtain any lab work or tests your physician may have ordered prior to the day of surgery.
• If you suspect that you are pregnant, please notify your physician prior to your surgery.
• Refrain from smoking.
• Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. Your stomach should be empty at the time of surgery so that you do not vomit under anaesthesia.
• If you are supposed to take any medication on the day of surgery, take them with only a few sips of water.
• Take bath and brush your teeth themorning of surgery.
• Remove all makeup, nail polish and contact lenses. If you must wear contact lenses, please bring your storage case for use during surgery.
• Leave all jewellery and valuables at home.
• Arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you, stay with you while you are receiving care, drive you home and stay with you for the night following surgery.
• Limit the number of people who accompany you. We suggest that adult patients be accompanied by only one person. We do welcome both parents of paediatric patients.
• Bring all insurance cards and proper identification such as a driver license or voter ID or aadhaarcard. It is important for us to have all the current and correct information.
• Bring any paperwork your physician may have given you at your previous visit.
• Bring a special cup, bottle, blanket, pacifier, etc. for paediatric patients.
When you come to the hospital, report to the front desk and tell them that you are scheduled to have surgery today. They will start the admission process and a pre-operative nurse will help you get ready for surgery.
Take note that these are just a general set of instructions. Make sure to follow any specific instructions that your surgeon or anaesthesiologist may have given you.