No one looks forward to having surgery, even if it is elective. But, there are some benefits to being able to schedule a surgery when it’s convenient for you and to take steps to make the procedure go a little more smoothly.
In the weeks beforehand, if you can make some small changes to your routine, you’ll be in better shape for the procedure and experience better outcomes and a potentially easier recovery.
Whether it’s a knee replacement, hip surgery, or carpal tunnel surgery, there is going to be a recovery process and taking steps in advance can help ease this process and ensure you are back on your feet in no time.
Try some of these key strategies for preparing for surgery:
1. Improve or maintain health – The healthier you are, the easier an elective surgery will be. Aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular health, lung capacity, and cognitive function. Plus, it helps minimize complication risks from anesthesia. Try incorporating long walks, tennis, swimming or bicycling into your daily routine.
2. Practice meditation – If you’ve never meditated before, now is a good time to start. Positive thinking and rhythmic breathing can go a long way to improving cardiovascular health, calm your nerves and help aid in recovery. Practice deep breathing and incorporate it into your daily routine to reap the most benefits.
3. Lifestyle – Because life plan communities are committed to healthy living, it’s important to find one that will keep you active in mind, body, and soul. Does it have a fitness center? Is there a chapel with mass times? Do they offer a variety of hobbies for you to explore?
4. Focus on your diet – Especially if you are having surgery for a hip or knee, you might be out of commission for a while. It’s so easy to fall into bad habits that will only stall your recovery journey. Maintain a healthy diet before and after surgery to ensure you stay in the best shape you can and to avoid any other potential injuries.
5. Follow pre-surgery preparation – Oftentimes, before an elective surgery, you are provided with a sheet of instructions. Don’t ignore this! With certain procedures, it is necessary to stop medications you are currently using, to fast in the hours before surgery and to follow-up with a nurse or doctor. By doing things exactly as instructed you can set yourself up for success.
Part of preparing for surgery also includes preparing for what happens after surgery. Be sure to line up a ride to and from your appointment, recruit family members or friends to check-in on you, and closely follow any instructions on how to care for yourself once you are back home. In the short-term, you may have to make some adjustments to keep yourself safe and to ensure your recovery environment is a positive one.
Just remember, by following your doctor’s orders carefully, you will recover more quickly, heal completely and be back on your feet in no time at all.
If the time comes for you to consider downsizing, consider exploring the beautiful North Carolina campuses of St. Joseph of the Pines. We offer a variety of living options that complement our full continuum of care. Schedule a tour of Belle Meade and Pine Knoll to see everything we have to offer. Contact us today, we are happy to help.