What to Do Before Surgery: 3 Pro Surgery Prep Tips for an Easier Procedure & Enhanced Recovery
Going under the knife can be scary—but with some helpful surgery prep tips, it doesn’t have to be. From scheduling your procedure for the proper time , to preparing your home, to properly hydrating before surgery, there are a few simple things you can do to make your procedure a million times less stressful—and to get a major leg up on recovery. Today, then, we’re breaking down our top three surgery prep tips to ensure a smooth and seamless experience. Read on, and get ready to go under—and wake up from—anesthesia like a seasoned pro!
- Have a list of questions prepared for your preop appointment.
This one is key. We’ve all been there—you’ve had a preop appointment scheduled for a few weeks and have a great idea of everything you need to ask your doctor…but you freeze up and forget important questions when you’re in the moment. With so much on your mind and your nerves running at an all-time high, it’s almost impossible to keep a clear head and remember to ask every one of those all-important questions at your preop appointment. One of our pro surgery prep tips, then, is to prepare a list of questions ahead of time and take diligent notes during your preop appointment. Some questions you might consider asking are:
- What time do I need to arrive for my procedure?
- Will I need to stop any medications I’m taking before my procedure? If so, how far in advance should I stop taking them?
- Can I drink a preop beverage instead of fasting from midnight so I’m not hungry and dehydrated?
- Will I be getting any medications prescribed to me to take after surgery? If so, may I have that prescription now so I can fill it in advance?
- What type of anesthesia will be administered?
- Is it OK to workout before my procedure?
- What are the possible risks or complications of the procedure?
- What can I expect from the recovery process and when can I expect to return to normal activities?
- Make a backup plan, fill your prescriptions and prepare your house.
You’ll need someone to drive you home after your surgery—but what happens if the person you chose gets ill, has a family emergency or even just gets stuck in traffic? As one of our pro surgery prep tips, we always recommend having a backup plan in place just in case. Ask a friend or family member to be your backup driver and caretaker should your original surgery pal have something unexpected arise.
Once you’ve secured your backup plan, it’s important to properly prep for your homecoming. You’ll want to fill any post-op prescriptions ahead of time so you’re not stuck waiting for them when you need them most. Then, make sure your house is conducive to your preop state—if you’re going under for knee surgery and live in a two-story house, for example, you won’t be able to tackle those stairs for quite some time…so make sure everything you’ll need in the immediate future (clothing changes, toiletries, pillows, etc.) is downstairs in one easy-to-access place. And, no matter the type of surgery you’re having, chances are you’ll be resting on the couch for at least a day or two, so make sure you have everything you need within an arm’s reach (your laptop, charging cords, television remotes, books, pillows, blankets, etc.—even a cooler with water and other items is a great idea to have nearby).
- Nourish and hydrate with ClearFast in place of old-school fasting-from-midnight.
We saved our most helpful surgery prep tip for last. There are a number of reasons that fasting-from-midnight is an outdated practice (you can read more about why doctors are recommending patients no longer fast before surgery here)—but the overarching research is clear: sending patients into a stressful procedure without proper hydration and nutrition is counterproductive and even dangerous. Instead of fasting before surgery, medical professionals and hospitals across the globe are recommending patients drink a clear and colorless, complex carb-rich preop drink like ClearFast. Just be sure you confirm with your doctor that ClearFast is right for you! If she or he gives you the go-ahead, drinking ClearFast before your procedure has a number of benefits for your pre-op experience, your safety during surgery and your recovery, including:
- Reduced Hunger & Anxiety: Rich in complex carbs and free of simple sugars and colored dyes, the ClearFast preop drink reduces the stress and anxiety that come along with being starved and dehydrated before surgery. In fact, in a large controlled study, patients in the pre-op area who drank ClearFast were 5.5-6.5 times more likely to describe themselves as “comfortable” than those who underwent traditional fasting from midnight.
- Easier IV “Sticks”: We all hate being poked and prodded with IVs. And you may notice it’s even worse right before you go under the knife. That’s because dehydration from old-school fasting-from-midnight leads to reduced blood flow, which can often mean it takes nurses multiple, painful IV sticks to find a vein. Countless ClearFast customers report easier, pain-free and one-time-only needle sticks as a result of using our preop drink in place of completely fasting.
- Reduced Post-Op Nausea and Vomiting: Fasting before surgery is largely responsible for the nausea and vomiting so many patients experience after waking up from anesthesia. ClearFast customers who, in the past experienced nausea and vomiting after waking from surgery, report that taking the ClearFast preop drink completely eliminated this problem for them.
Wondering how to ask your doctor about ClearFast to set yourself up for surgery success? We’ve got you covered—read our tips for talking to your doctor about using a preop drink here. Ready to order your ClearFast for a safer, less stressful procedure and enhanced recovery upon waking? Head to the ClearFast online store for free two-day shipping on all orders!