Over the years we have helped many patients prepare for surgery, undergo anesthesia and go through the recovery phase. We are surprised by how many patients begin this process with very little understanding of what to expect and the risks involved. Most patients do not know what to ask of their surgeon or healthcare givers who are responsible for their care on the day of surgery. This is unfortunate as it is well shown that keeping patients informed helps improve outcomes in the healthcare setting. We believe that preparing patients for surgery assures a better result and safer recovery. The purpose of this website is to offer the benefit of our experience so that you will know what to expect and the questions you need to ask for yourself or loved ones.

Our Goal – The goal of our website is to help patients prepare for surgery so they may improve their experience and outcome. We will help you understand the steps most patients take as they go through the peri-operative experience.

A Guide – We will guide you through all of the usual stages patients experience from the moment they are given the first news that surgery is necessary, through the preparation phase, the day of surgery and the postoperative recovery.

Insights – We hope to give you insights so you will know how best to interact with your physician and healthcare givers through all of these steps. We may also give you an understanding of common concerns that affect patients so you may have the chance to ask the important questions that pertain to your situation.

  • We are not here to take the place of your physician nor do we give medical advice. We are here as a friendly impartial quide so that you may benefit from our experience surrounding anesthesia, surgery, and recovery.

Concerns About Your Upcoming Surgery

Are you worried about your upcoming surgery or that of your child or loved one? Are you fully informed over what to expect from either the surgery or the anesthetic? Did you get the opportunity to have all your questions answered before scheduling your surgery? Unfortunately these issues happen altogether too frequently during the process of getting ready for surgery.

We are here to give you some insights on what to expect and how to prepare for your surgery. We will give you the knowledge you need to ask the important questions next time you see your doctor. With our help you will know all the important issues you need to address with your healthcare givers to help you stay safe through your surgery and recovery.

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The Road to Surgery:

Road to Surgery

There will come a day that you will see your doctor for a lump or bump you have noticed or a discomfort you feel in your stomach. After an evaluation you will be told that surgery is necessary to either diagnose your condition or to treat your medical condition. In no uncertain terms you will be told to prepare for surgery. Here is where the surgical experience begins.

Anxiety

From our experience this is when many patients become nervous and due to the anxiety of the situation lose control of their senses and forget to ask the questions that really matter.  Some patients are intimated by the scene and suddenly become unable to ask what they can expect as they prepare for surgery.  The moment is fleeting as most busy surgeons simply do not have time for small talk and soon you are directed to the waiting room without the information you need.

That same day you will be scheduled to have testing and evaluations within a short period of time. It is unlikely you will have the time to meet with your surgeon again before your surgery. Unfortunately you will not be able to ask the questions that arise as the date of your operation approaches. This process is stressful for most patients and can lead to undue anxiety. Increased stress at the time of surgery can lead to complications.

How to Prepare for Surgery

Our website will help you prepare for what you will encounter, beginning at the surgeon’s office, through your preparation, the surgery and recovery.  If you can prepare ahead with the important questions you may improve your chances of a better outcome.

We have divided the surgical experience into stages to make it easier for you to understand.

Calendar

Preparing For Surgery Without Fear

It is normal for you to be anxious, most patients are to some degree.  Anxiety is part of a normal mechanism that helps protects us from danger.  It is part of what is commonly known as the “fight or flight response.” 

It is not uncommon for patients to be in the dark over what to expect on the day of surgery.  In most situations a patient has very little time with their busy surgeon and often does not know what questions to ask.  This can also be the cause of increased stress during the surgical experience.

Women often suffer from anxiety more than men as they have many stressors that affect their daily lives.  They are the ones responsible for the management of their family, responsible for getting the children off to school and making sure they are fed.  They fear they will not be able to provide this care for their family, when and if they recover from surgery.

Severe anxiety can cause an unpleasant situation as it can affect the surgery or the anesthetic.  The increased catecholamine response from severe anxiety is accompanied by a pounding heart, a fast pulse, irregular heartbeats, nausea and shortness of breath.  This could make it more difficult to get you off to sleep and cause you to experience more pain postoperatively.  It may affect the doses of anesthetic and may result in a longer recovery period.  There is also evidence severe anxiety can affect the immune system.  This not something you want as you recover from surgery.

Treatment Options

Alternative Therapies

To better address issues with anxiety it is important for you to know all the key facts about your anesthetic and surgery.  A patient should understand the procedure they are to have, why they need it, and how it’s performed.  It is also helpful to understand the anesthesia needed for that procedure.  This may help greatly in resolving the fear of anesthesia and surgery.  Sometimes financial concerns are the culprit.  Find out how much sick time you have or whether you have disability coverage.  Review your health insurance and what it covers.

Some patients benefit from treatments with alternative medicine, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, acupressure and herbal supplements.  If you use herbal supplements such as natural plant extract be sure to consult your surgeon.  Some “natural products” can cause thinning of the blood or heart arrhythmias. Previous studies have demonstrated how music or reading during a preoperative phase can have a calming effect on patients.  Even taking a bath or walk can help relieve surgical anxiety.

On certain occasions your surgeon or primary care physician will prescribe anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications to prepare you for the day of surgery.  Benzodiazepines are often used for this purpose.  These medications reduce anxiety, help the individual relax and cause some sedation.  In the immediate time before surgery, if anxiety persists, sedatives may be given through an intravenous line to further assist in controlling the anxiety.  Anesthesia providers are judicious in the use of these medications as they could prolong your recovery from anesthesia.

Many hospitals offer special support to patients, family and friends who have severe issues with preoperative anxiety.  They attempt to keep waiting times as brief as possible and the hospital stay as pleasant as possibly make it.  Hospitals will usually provide a counselor, social workers, religious staff and volunteers who offer support and assistance.

The Anesthesia Team

If an individual is afraid of the anesthetic, they will always have the opportunity to discuss this at length with the anesthesia team who provides their anesthetic care.  Some patients occasionally worry they will wake up during surgery or will not wake up at all.  Other patients may be more concerned over the amount of pain they will experience. These topics can be addressed by anesthesia providers before the procedure.

Preparing Children

Children are a special situation as they are heavily influenced by their parents.  If the mother is anxious it is likely the child will be petrified and react badly.  Naturally, it is important to address your anxiety and that of your child.  Talk to your child about the procedure and let them ask questions.  Explain how the procedure will be good for them in the long run.  Let them know how you will take care of them as they recover.

Letting your child know too far in advance could be a problem as children do not like to wait a long time and they may have too much time to dwell on the surgery.  Take advantage of the programs many childrens’ hospitals have available to prepare kids for surgery.  Often, they will encourage a tour of the facility days before the big event.

Common Concerns of Surgery

There are several concerns that seem to be on the mind of patients as they approach the day of surgery.  These are persisting nausea & vomiting, waking up during surgery and severe pain.  We give you insights into these topics so you can prepare and help your anesthesia caregiver prevent them from happening.

Nausea & Vomiting

Nausea & Vomiting After Surgery

Waking Up During Surgery

Severe Pain After Surgery

We Are Here to Guide You

We are here to guide you through all the necessary steps necessary in preparing for surgery and recovery. With our help you will know all the important questions to ask your doctors to help you stay safe through your surgery and additionally recover more quickly.

Join us as we take you through the many stages of preparation. We will give you the knowledge you need to ask the important questions of your surgeon, anesthesia providers and nurses. We are not here to replace your providers but to act as a bridge to better communication. We want your experience to be the best possible and to help you recover quickly.

Preparing for Surgery

The professionals at Surgi-Ready have extensive experience in preparing patients for surgery, managing their care through their surgical procedures, and addressing their recovery. We are here to share our knowledge to help you have the best experience possible for your surgery.

Other things to consider in preparing for surgery.