Monday, October 3, 2011

5 Tips for Preparing for Surgery

If you are heading into surgery, you're likely focused on the road ahead of you - post surgery. But, you don't want to wake up on day one and find yourself unprepared for that journey.

We reached out to our Mobilegs Facebook community for these tips to prepare for a positive, post-surgical experience:


  1. Start your physical therapy now. Don't wait until after your surgery to start your exercises. Getting your body in as good as shape as you can before the surgery can help to ensure that you're a healthy surgical patient. This also puts your body in better shape to deal with possible weight gain due to limited post-opp activity and decreased metabolism.

  2. Treat yourself. Whether it's a nice dinner out, a day at the spa, or an outing with friends and family, take the time to to what you most enjoy as it might be some time before you're out and about again. This can also help to put you in a more positive mindset before surgery.

  3. Go shopping for post-surgery necessities. Items you might want to consider are:
    • Recovery items such as a shower seat, cast cover, ergonomic pillows or cushions, and crutches or other mobility items. Sometimes these can be purchased at the doctor's office or hospital, but taking some time to look and purchase ahead of time gives you the luxury of choosing from a wider selection of options to find the best fit for your needs and comfort. 
    • Clothes that are easy to put on, fit over any cast or brace that you might have and most importantly, are comfortable.  
    • Groceries that are easy to prepare. The last thing you want to worry about when you come home from surgery is grocery shopping. Stock up ahead of time with items that are easy to prepare, whether it's you or a family member who will be taking on this responsibility.  
    • Activities for the kids. For parents of young children, post-surgical times can be especially challenging. Consider picking up things like puzzels, books, word games or other activities that you can do with your kids while you're recovering.

  4. Organize your home. Consider your post-surgical mobility and arrange spaces to accomodate. Move furniture to create safe passageways if you're going to be on crutches. If you have a multi-level home, move essential items to the main level and consider setting up a bed for yourself on that level as well, to avoid the struggle (and potential hazard) of going up and down stairs.
     
  5. Talk to, and listen to, your doctor. Discuss your surgery before hand, and understand the procedure as well as your options for pain management. You might want to inquire about a nerve block and whether or not it would be an option for you to consider. During the entire process, follow your doctor's instructions regarding everything from prescriptions for pain and infections as well as your post-surgery routine and mobility restrictions. 
Do you have additional tips to share? Please do so in the comments below. 

Want to talk to others who have taken this journey? Please join the conversation on Facebook.

These tips are provided as suggestions and are not intended as professional medical advice. 


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