Pre-Surgery and Post-Surgery Recommendations

Having surgery can be a nerve-racking experience. There are ways to make the experience not feel as overwhelming or stressful. Having informed doctors, nurses, and medical staff can help put your mind at ease. Preparing for surgery, having the proper medical equipment, and post-surgery information can improve your procedure experience. Regulating body temperature and getting the body back to its normal function can be a long process for individuals, Bair Hugger Blankets are commonly used in hospitals to achieve this. Being in the hospital and transitioning back into the swing of everyday life requires specific technologies, techniques, and guidance.

Pre-Surgery Preparation

Surgery can be a scary prospect. Being prepared both mentally and physically can increase your chances of success. Talking with doctors who will be present during the operation is very important. And while you place high trust in the expertise of your care team during the actual surgery, the communication with your doctor beforehand, making sure you are already leading a lifestyle that is healthy, and planning for post-surgery can all assist in the success of the surgery. Read below to learn more about pre-operation communication, lifestyle choices, and planning.

Communication

A clear line of communication is of utmost importance, and you should be able to ask questions that you have about the process. Fear of the unknown can add to existing anxiety, and your doctors are there to inform and educate you. Address any concerns or worries you have with your doctor. They will hear your thoughts and concerns and give you the information you need to put those at ease. Surgery is something that most people don’t go through very often. It is normal to feel in the dark about the process. Your doctor’s job is to guide you to a place where you feel you have more answers than questions. It’s also encouraged to learn about your anesthesia and anesthesiologist. “Going under” can be an intimidating concept to many people. Ask any questions or express apprehensions. Next, ask about your diet and make sure what foods and drinks you aren’t supposed to have leading up to the day of surgery. There are certain dietary and time restrictions that are extremely important to the process. Your doctor should inform you of these, but if you have any questions, ask, it is better to be safe than sorry in these situations. Your care team needs you in a specific condition to perform surgery.

Lifestyle

Make sure you are at your best. All surgery has its risks, and part of the control a patient has is preparing to be in good physical and mental health. Being active, stretching, and eating healthy are lifestyle habits that should exist in your life before an operation. You want to quickly get back to the level of activity and quality of life you were at pre-surgery. If you have a healthy baseline to work with, recovery will be a shorter and quite possibly a less painful and frustrating road. Putting in the work and effort will be well worth it before surgery, so your body can heal quicker.

Thinking Ahead

Prepare your home, so you are ready post-surgery. Get your home organized, make sure you have what you will need, and situate yourself so you can comfortably settle back into your space. This preparation will help with the practical day to day side of things. This includes getting food you will need, adjusting furniture that might need moving, making sure your bed is at a height that is comfortable for getting in and out of and making sure you don’t have to reach too high or low for everyday items. Another vital prep action is packing a hospital bag. While you’re in the hospital, there are things that you might want from home if you have a more extended stay. It can help make a hospital feel a bit more comforting and homey. Planning like this can lessen the number of things you have to think about after surgery, so you can focus on healing and getting back to your best self. Also, if you still find yourself anxious, relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and meditation are also recommended.

Technology: Pre and Post-Surgery

Moderating body temperature is of utmost importance before, after, and during surgery. One technique that helps with surgery is a warming system called Bair Hugger used by hospitals to moderate body temperature before, after, and during surgery. Introduced for use in 1988, and developed by Dr. Scott D. Augustine, the Bair Hugger has been used by most major hospitals across the United States and used in over 80% of U.S. hospitals today.

Bair Hugger’s are made out of soft and comfortable material to lay across the patient and evenly distribute heat across the patient’s body. Bair Huggers are used to keep patients safe and assist in the different stages of surgery. Bair Huggers blankets warming units’ filter air, then force warm air through the Bair Hugger blankets. The warm air is dispersed evenly throughout the blanket to keep the patient warm. Medical providers know the importance of patient warming technology and have counted on the Bair Hugger to assist patients in medically related procedures for over 20 years.

From nurses to pediatrics, to cardiac care, a wide range of health providers relies on these blankets to ensure excellent patient outcomes. Moderating body temperature is of utmost importance before, after, and during surgery. This method will continue to be used by healthcare providers around the globe to ensure positive patient outcomes.

Post-Surgery

Post operation recovery can be significantly reduced with proactive steps taken at the individual level. While these steps might seem simple, they can make the recovery process much more comfortable.

Diet

The first step is eating well after surgery. Diet can play a huge role in your recovery. Make sure to ask your doctor what kinds of food are most appropriate, what foods to stay away from, how frequent you should be eating, and what quantity you should be eating. While you are home, and away from the hospital, you should not go on auto-piolet and return to your usual habits. You will have to ease back into certain foods and liquids.

Physical Activity

While you might not be feeling like it, moving is a critical part of the recovery process. Again, ask your doctor how frequent and intense your movements should be. You will likely begin with easy movement and get more active over time. You need to increase your circulation to get back to your original state of activeness. This will be a slow process and happen over time, and it sometimes takes baby steps to get there. In the early stages of post-surgical recovery, many physicians request that heart rate is not to be elevated. We suggest walking in your neighborhood or mall at a regular shopping pace – not an exercise pace. You can do this without raising your heart rate for any length of time. You should stop if you experience fatigue, dizziness, or nausea. Sometimes your mind is ready to be back to average speed when your body needs time to catch up. Make sure you are Intune with your needs and not pushing yourself too hard too fast. Stretching falls in the same vein as physical activity. Don’t allow yourself to become stiff. Make sure you are moving around a little bit and stretching your myself. Going days without getting your circulation flowing is not good for healing. While it’s not always the most enjoyable activity, it is most certainly an important one.

Hydration

Hydration is an essential element of recovery. While hydration may not be at the forefront of your mind on a daily basis, it should be on your list while recovering from surgery. Certain liquids can increase recovery time, and certain liquids you want to stay away from. Suggested fluids include water, Skim Milk, Diet Nestea, Diet V-8 Splash, Tea, Diluted Fruit Juice (about 4 oz. /day), Flavored water (like Propel) and Crystal Light. It has been suggested to stay away from Gatorade due to high levels of sodium. Another source of hydration can come from fruits like watermelon. In addition to this tasty fruit, there are a number of high water content fruits and vegetables including strawberries, grapefruit, zucchini, and celery. So, if liquids are feeling like an overload, switch it up with some yummy fruits or veggies.

Clothing

Post-surgery clothing can play a role in the ease and comfort of recovering. Everyday things that might have been simple before can now become challenging. By altering your dressing style, you can simplify the healing process when you have other things you need to be focusing on. It is easy to become frustrated post-surgery, and efficient and straightforward clothing choices can give you one less thing to be inconvenienced by. Avoid buttons, zippers, and focus more on comfort and ease. It’s not a fashion contest when you’re healing.

Surgical Scar care

If you are concerned about a scar and want to minimize the long-term visibility, there are many ideas as to decrease the size of surgical scarring. The act of ‘rubbing’ the scar is the best way to stimulate blood flow and increase the flow of skin-rejuvenating oxygen and nutrients. Use your fingers to apply your chosen cream. There are a variety of ointments you can pick from. Some of these include vitamin C, silicone dressing, or Mederma scar cream. While these products have varying success, an alternative treatment is applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on a completely closed and sealed scar and covering with an adhesive bandage. For your scar to heal, it is also best practice to avoid major sun exposure for a minimum of one year. Using sunscreen (which is also recommended regardless of if you’ve just had surgery or not) will provide the most protection from permanent discoloration. Checking with your physician for sunscreen and ointment recommendations is wise.

Overall

Surgery is a significant life event, and being prepared can make all the difference. Taking proactive steps before surgery, having the right technology for recovery, and knowing how to recover are all vital educational pieces to understanding and preparing for the event. With proper foods and liquids, body regulating technology like Bair Hugger Blankets for pre and post-surgery, moderate exercise, and a care plan, you should be able to make it through the pre and post-surgery waters with success. As always, doctors are there to inform you and help you feel at ease about the process. Knowing who is on your care team, taking care of yourself, following directions, and asking questions will all help the surgery go smoothly.