The night before surgery can be stressful. We’re here to make this process easier and as pain-free as possible – and that starts with preparation. Here are 8 tips to set yourself up to have a positive experience.
The Night Before:
- Eating and Drinking
Unless directed otherwise by your doctor, you can eat normally up until the evening before your surgery. After that point, you can eat a light meal, but make sure you do so before 10:30 or 11 PM. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight – not even water if you can help it. If abstaining from eating and drinking is something that may cause you problems, talk to your surgeon and follow their advice.
- Alcohol and Smoking
Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 12 hours before your surgery. As far as smoking is concerned, research has shown that smoking significantly hampers your body’s ability to heal – meaning a slower recovery and an elevated risk of complications. If you smoke regularly, stop as soon as possible before your procedure. Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours before surgery and during your recovery, if possible. If you use recreational drugs, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor about it – everything interacts in different ways and your doctor’s primary concern is your health.
- Talk to your Surgeon
No one will be able to give you better instructions on how to prepare than your doctor. Every procedure is different, so make sure you talk to your surgeon beforehand and follow their instructions to the letter. They know best.
The Day Of Your Procedure:
- Be On Time
To make sure you get into surgery on time, arrive at the hospital or surgery center early. The less you’re rushing around, the less stressed you’ll be going into your procedure.
- Bring the Necessary Information
Make sure that you have your I.D., insurance information, important phone numbers, and addresses. The last thing you want to be doing before your procedure is scrambling around looking for the policy number on the insurance card you left at home.
- Dress Comfortably
In any situation, it’s important to dress for the occasion – and surgery is no different! Dress in loose, comfortable clothing. Depending on your procedure, make sure that your clothes will fit over any dressings or bandages after your surgery. Avoid wearing jewelry, cologne or perfume, nail polish, or makeup – all of these things introduce another element into a sterile environment.
- Leave all Valuables at Home
The hospital is no place to show off your high-end handbag or watch. If anything, having these things around without anyone directly keeping an eye on them may cause you unnecessary stress!
- Bring a Friend
Depending on your procedure, it’s very likely you will not be able to drive yourself home. A friend, spouse, or family member can be a great help as you make your way out of the facility, ensuring you don’t forget anything and can relay instructions from your doctor in case you are still groggy.