It is important that you enter the hospital in good health. In the days to weeks before surgery, consider the following ways you can take control of the state of your physical fitness and overall health:
- Stop smoking: Smoking reduces the capacity of your lungs to put oxygen into your bloodstream. If you are a smoker, you can reduce complications of surgery and anesthesia by stopping smoking at least two weeks before surgery.
- Nutrition and diet: It is important to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet that will give your body the strength and vigor it needs to undergo and recover from surgery. Eating a balanced diet is important to achieve optimal nutritional status before, during and after your hospital stay. However, it is also important that you follow the instructions of your surgeon regarding diet restrictions (e.g., bowel preparation).
- Skin care: Be sure to avoid, as much as possible, scratches, scrapes, rashes and sunburn. Be sure to report any of these conditions to your surgeon.
- Exercise: It is important to stay as active as possible prior to your surgery. Your muscles, heart, lungs and circulatory system need to stay strong and healthy. Daily exercise, if possible, will keep you in good shape while helping your circulation and breathing.
- Prepare your home for your discharge: Shop for groceries, prepare and store meals, go to the bank and pharmacy, do laundry, move objects that may obstruct your path, and make boarding arrangements for pets if you are unable to care for them during your recovery.
- Assistance: Arrange for family or friends to be available to drive you home and stay with you as necessary.
Medications: Aspirin, ibuprofen, Coumadin, clopidogrel (PLAVIX™), Motrin, Advil, Nuprin and some herbal or over-the-counter medications or vitamins may cause bleeding and are sometimes stopped prior to surgery. Ask your surgeon if you should stop taking these or other medications before surgery. DO NOT stop medications without being instructed to do so by a member of your health care team. If you are allergic to any medications, please inform your doctor or nurse.
If there is any change in your health (for example, fever, congestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea), please notify your physician. If you need to cancel surgery, please contact your surgeon’s office and the hospital 468-8600.
To download a pdf of Preparing for Surgery instructions, click here.