Surgery is performed for many different reasons. It can be major or minor, diagnostic or therapeutic. Whatever the case, the prospect can be overwhelming. Between operating room charges, anesthesia instructions, and wound care, there is a lot to think about. There are a few things you need to be sure to do before surgery.
1. Find Out All You Can About the Procedure
You should have the opportunity to discuss the procedure with the doctor prior to surgery. This is an opportunity to ask whatever questions you may have about the surgery itself, as well as preparation and aftercare.
One of the most important things you should find out about is the anesthesia you are going to receive and whether it will be local or general. Local anesthesia only numbs a certain area, while general anesthesia renders you completely unconscious. It is important to know this beforehand because it affects other aspects of your preparation.
2. Arrange a Ride Home
If you receive general anesthetic or potent painkillers, it won’t be safe for you to drive yourself home after surgery. Therefore, you should arrange to have someone come with you or at least pick you up after the procedure. If you have local anesthesia, your doctor is more likely to allow you to drive yourself.
3. Wear Comfortable, Loose-Fitting Clothing
Your incisions may have bulky bandages over top of them, or you may have swelling from the surgery. Loose-fitting clothing can better accommodate your bandages and keep you more comfortable by not restricting swelling. If you cannot wear loose-fitting clothing to your surgery, at least bring some with you so you can change into it after the procedure.
Your doctor will inform you of any specific presurgical prep and postsurgical instructions. For example, if you are to receive general anesthesia, your doctor may ask you not to eat before surgery.