News & Resources

5 Tips for Preparing for a Planned Surgery

January 25, 2023

Planned or not, surgery interrupts your life and is scary and overwhelming.  Finding out you need a surgical procedure is stressful.  Careful preparation and planning can ensure you have a successful procedure and recovery.

Here are five tips to prepare before, during, and after surgery.

Ask Questions

Make an appointment to meet with your surgeon or a medical team member.  Before surgery is the best and only time to ensure you’re prepared and educated about your procedure.

Be prepared with a list and get answers to the following questions:

  • Are there any options other than surgery?
  • How long is your surgery?
  • Is your surgery outpatient or do you need an overnight stay?
  • What are your anesthesia options?
  • Do you need someone with you on the day of surgery? Can they wait? How will they be notified when your surgery is complete?
  • What are your risks during and after surgery?
  • Ask about the hospital’s COVID protocols
  • Will you be prescribed pain medication? Make sure your caregiver and physician have your pharmacy information.
  • Will you need physical or occupational therapy?

Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion or patient referrals.

1.  Review Your Health Insurance Coverage

Surgery is expensive, and unexpected medical bills can wreck your budget. Check with your health insurance provider to ensure your surgeon is in your network and surgery is covered. Be specific and ask for a cost breakdown for your surgeon, anesthesiologist, prescriptions, and follow-up appointments.

2. Line Up Caregivers

As soon as you know you’re having surgery, ask a responsible friend or family member for support. Give them the information about the procedure, date, time, and location, including what you’ll need before, during, and after surgery. For the first evening, you may need someone to stay overnight to help. If you need assistance for several nights, ask if friends and family can alternate nights to help.

3. Get Organized Before Surgery

Make sure your home is clean, bills are paid, and your refrigerator is stocked with healthy and delicious foods and drinks before your surgery. If you need additional help after surgery.  Short-term rehabilitation centers can help. 

4. Follow Pre-Surgery Instructions

Take care of yourself mentally and physically in the weeks before surgery. Have a positive attitude, increase your water intake and eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Pre-surgery instructions are implemented to keep you safe before, during, and after your procedure. Make sure you follow them.

Your surgeon should provide you with a list of pre-surgery instructions that may include the following:

  • Restricting eating and drinking before surgery
  • Bring your insurance information and identification
  • Wearing loose clothing
  • Removing jewelry
  • Having a driver on the day of surgery

5. Post-surgery Self-care

After surgery, let your body heal! And carefully follow post-op instructions. Now is the time to rest, catch up on sleep, read a few best-sellers. There’s no better time for a Netflix binge! If you need additional support transitioning from the hospital to home, contact us for more information.