Whether elective, doctor-recommended, low, or high-risk, undergoing surgery is an involved process that impacts your health and wellness and alters (permanently or temporarily) your home and work life. Unfortunately, some patients don’t consider these factors when preparing for surgery and become overwhelmed with stress, which can prolong their recovery.

Beyond The Doctor’s Instructions

When prepping for surgery, it’s common to focus on your doctor’s instructions. For example, the surgeon might tell you to avoid eating after a specific time, take (or discontinue) medication,  or make arrangements for transportation post-surgery.

Although following the doctor’s orders is essential, there’s more to preparing for a medical procedure than meets the eye. You must go beyond the doctor’s instructions. Continue reading for advice.

Talk To Your Employer

Scheduling time off from work is standard when undergoing surgery. However, you must do more than put in a leave request. You must talk to your employer about your procedure, projected recovery time, and potential side effects and risks (and how that might impact your return date or performance).

When your employer is aware of what’s happening, they can provide you with information about your options, including paid time off, family leave, disability, reasonable accommodations, and more. That way, whether you return to work as planned or something pops up, you and your employer already know what course to take.

Meet With Your Family 

You may not want to share your surgery news with everyone, but having a conversation with those directly impacted by your circumstances is ideal. For example, your long-term partner or spouse will be your first support source. Ultimately, you should discuss every detail so they know what’s happening and how they can assist you.

If you have children, you’ll want to talk to them about your surgery (in an age-appropriate manner). While you don’t have to be as detailed, you want them to understand how your health and their everyday routines will be different until you’ve recovered.

Develop An Aftercare Plan (And Enlist Help)

The most effective way to develop an aftercare plan is to review the information provided by your doctor, medical specialist, or surgeon. Based on the details, you can identify potential risks, side effects, medications, dietary needs, physical limitations, and other precautions to take during your recovery.

Although everyone’s surgery, aftercare needs, and lifestyles are different, it’s essential to have a plan to support your recovery efforts and simplify your life. For instance, if you have a tooth extracted, you’ll need to be on a soft food diet after surgery to heal. Preparation would include buying soft foods, prepping meals, or asking a loved one to help.

Your aftercare plan should include your responsibilities to others, like your children. If you’re going to be in the hospital, on bed rest, in a wheelchair, or unable to provide for their needs, you’ll need to ensure someone can. Whether asking your parents to babysit, having a trusted adult transport them to and from school, or enlisting your spouse to cook homework, you want to ensure your kids can maintain a regular routine (or as much as possible).

Emergency Planning

No one likes to include emergency planning in their surgery arrangements, but it’s a reality you must face. There is a chance that something could go wrong, and you must be prepared. Anyone undergoing surgery should have a living will, a last will and testament, and a designated person to handle your affairs. That way, if you encounter an adverse situation, there’s a step-by-step guide on managing your health, long-term care, finances, children, and in extreme instances, final affairs.

Modern advancements have made elective and essential surgeries less invasive and more effective resulting in reduced pain, side effects, and recovery time. Be that as it may, no one can guarantee a positive outcome, and recovery is always necessary. Therefore, patients are encouraged to analyze the facts and develop a plan to reduce their stress and enhance their healing before, during, and after surgery.