11 Dec Preparing for Surgery
Having to prepare for surgery can be a little overwhelming and scary. One of the best ways to be prepared and stay calm is to make a list of the things you might need or need to do before and after surgery. We’ve made a list of a few things to keep in mind to make your journey a little easier.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions
This is THE most important thing you need to do. Listen to every little thing they say about the process and take notes if you need to. Your surgeon will want to ensure that you get the best results possible and they are the ones who know you and your situation best, so listen to their advice and follow it to a T!
What should you be doing BEFORE surgery?
In the weeks leading up to your operation we recommend exercising every day. Whether it is walking, swimming, yoga or lifting weights, a strong, healthy body heals much faster. Staying active will help you to achieve better results and ultimately assist in your recovery.
Know what you need to stop eating and drinking in the days/hours before surgery. Dr Bill Lyon will advise you if there is anything you need to refrain from and you need to have this list handy and stuck to your fridge for reminding!
The same goes for medications. If you are already taking medications, it may be necessary for you to stop taking them in the lead up to the surgery. Dr Bill Lyon will also advise you of this so make sure you have written down precise instructions.
Shave/wax your legs/under your arms. You won’t want to have to worry about this after the surgery!
If you smoke, stop smoking! Many surgeons nowadays won’t even operate on a patient who continues to smoke in the weeks leading up to the surgery. There are so many extra complications on a patient who smokes and it’s not worth the risk. You’ll also heal a lot faster if you give up smoking.
Getting To and From Hospital
Organise someone to drive you to and home from the hospital. It is unlikely you will be allowed, or want to, drive home from the hospital after the surgery so arrange for your partner/family/friend to do it for you. It will also save you the hospital car parking fees!
What Do You Need To Pack?
- LOOSE fitting and soft clothing – dressing gown, track pants with a drawstring
- Button up tops – so you don’t have to put your arms overhead, move too strenuously, or have anything touching your face, depending on what surgery you have
- Plenty of clean underwear
- Bed socks – for comfort and warmth (even in Summer, hospitals can be cold!)
- Toiletries – Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, non-irritant body wash/soap, hair brush, sanitary napkins/tampons (if applicable)
- Magazines/Entertainment – you will spend plenty of time in bed right after most surgeries so make sure to keep your mind healthy and active. It will also help to take your mind off any initial discomfort after surgery.
- Phone/Charger/Tablet – to keep in contact with the outside world (you will probably have a hospital phone, but might want a smart phone with Facebook, etc.). It might be a good idea to contact the hospital prior to admission to check whether they have WiFi or regulations with regards to electronic equipment and phones.
- Healthy snacks – you might want other options apart from the hospital food, however you will want to check with your doctor that your own food is allowed.
- Small amount of money – you might want to buy yourself or a visitor a coffee or other drinks/snacks from the hospital café.
Help at Home
Meals – organise your meals in advance for when you arrive home. You will often be tired or uncomfortable after any surgery so not having to find your way around the kitchen when you are not feeling as well or strong as you normally do will be a welcome relief. Stock the fridge/ freezer with extra food so you don’t have to leave the house to do the shopping if you don’t want to.
Home Help/Assistance – make sure you have a friend or family member to live-in with you for at least your first week at home, especially if you have young children. You shouldn’t be doing any heavy lifting and will be instructed to take it easy for a little while, so having help is essential. Little things like showering, cooking or even getting out of bed may require assistance. It is not uncommon to feel faint or weak, and you will most likely be on painkillers which can cause drowsiness so it makes sense to have someone keeping an eye out for you.
Document the Process
It’s great to document the whole process. Take photos before you go into hospital and take a camera or use your phone to take more after the surgery and each day/week after that. You will be able to see how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked; and they will be a great reminder of what it took to get to the end result.
Remember… Recovery is not a race. Every patient’s experience will be different.
- Don’t try to do too much too soon – you’ll run the risk of making your recovery time even longer and may even end up with complications.
- Remember that it takes time for you to see the full results of your procedure in many cases – example, breast implants need their “dropping and fluffing” time so be a patient patient!
- Dr Bill Lyon makes himself available for any questions or concerns you have after surgery so don’t be afraid to ask about anything and everything to keep your mind at ease and be informed.
Best of luck!