For those who’ve never been there before, the prospect of going into an operating theatre, going under general anaesthetic and having a potentially life changing surgery carried out on them naturally comes with a few worries. While the UK has an outstanding record when it comes to successful and safe surgeries, it’s almost inevitable to have a few nerves around what could go wrong or worst-case scenarios when you’re the one going under the knife.
In answer to this, your best bet is to prepare as much as possible, so you feel as happy as you can going into your surgery. This comes down to a few things – research, preparation and looking after yourself beforehand to name but a few – but what are the best pointers for those looking to prepare ahead of an operation?
While we all love the NHS, there is a bit of a waiting list when it comes to non-urgent surgeries. If you do choose to go private, make sure you know the credentials of who and where you’re booking with.
Are the physicians qualified? Is the facility licenced and accredited? Who will be providing the anaesthesia? These are all the sorts of questions you want to be asking when picking a place, and good things to know when heading into the day.
Look after yourself beforehand
Surgery can take a toll on the body, so it’s a great idea to be fighting fit and fresh heading into your operation date. Spend time before the procedure staying active, eating well, and getting enough sleep – all will help you during the recovery phase.
It’s not a bad idea to test your general health before surgery as well. Things like blood and urine tests and ECGs can ensure you’re in good condition heading in and there aren’t any potential issues that could be impacted by an operation.
You want the day of your surgery to move along as seamlessly as possible with absolutely no stress. Even if you’re not planning on staying in the hospital for long, make sure you pack plentifully in advance of your stay. Some of the essentials include:
- Clean underwear and day clothes
- Books/magazines/other entertainment
- Any medications you take
- Personal effects
- Anything else that will make your stay more comfortable
The NHS offers a list of appropriate things to pack for your surgery, but essentially: take whatever is going to make your day run smoothly, and pack it well in advance to avoid any last minute panics.
Do your research and feel confident
If you are feeling some pre-surgery nerves, as many do, do a bit of research into the process, what to expect and find out about how safe everything is. It’ll make you feel loads better – both in the build up to the surgery and on the day, which will mean you don’t spend the week before fretting about things you don’t need to.
Say you’re booking a gastric bypass surgery, for example, you can find out loads on the process behind the surgery with just a few clicks on Google. Often, once you know how things are done, the idea of it happening to you is a lot easier to take on.
Heading into a surgery, it’s important you feel positive about the process ahead. By doing your research, picking your provider carefully and looking after yourself in the build-up, you can give yourself every assurance that your surgery will go as well as it possibly can, and you can get back up to full speed in no time at all.