Preparing for Surgery
Once you and your doctor decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
Working with Your Doctor
Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.
- Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery
- If you are taking any blood thinning medications, you will need to discuss these with your surgeon. There are also a number of non-prescription medicines and dietary supplements that may interfere with your blood clotting so should be discussed with the surgeon.
- If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery
- For those having Valve operations, you will need to see a Dentist prior to your heart surgery to ensure your teeth aren't going to cause infections on the valve(s) down the track. You may also need to see somebody for gastrointestinal issues as they can also lead to infections.
- Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron
- Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up
- Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry
- Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won’t have to reach and bend as often
- Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls
- Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms