If you have surgery coming up and want to find out how to best prepare your body, you’re in the right place! Every surgery is different and so is the preparation needed for your body, so first and foremost you need to listen to the individual advice from your surgeon. However, most of these things apply to most surgeries so this is a good place to start.
We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but it can be particularly dangerous before surgery. When you stop smoking around 6 weeks before your surgery, it can help to reduce complications with the lungs, heart and infections, as well as reducing the chance of implants failing. It can also reduce the length of your hospital stay. The main reason that the overall risk is reduced is because quitting smoking will increase the amount of oxygen in your body, generally putting you at a lower risk for surgery. Quitting as far in advance before the surgery will keep you as healthy as possible for the surgery.
Around a month before your surgery, you should start to eat a high-protein diet, as this will help your body to recover, heal wounds and fight infections. Without eating protein, your skin will find it harder to heal, so you should eat a high-protein diet before and after your surgery to increase your body’s ability to heal.
Things like chicken, lean beef mince, tofu, mixed beans, nuts and eggs are all great choices, as well as eating a wide range of different fruits and vegetables to make sure you are fuelling your body with a range of vitamins and minerals!
A great recipe that you can make in advance and freeze ready for your recovery is a mixed bean chilli. In a large pot, combine a chopped white onion with some oil until it begins to soften and go brown. Then, add two tins of mixed beans, a tin of chopped tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, half a tins worth of water and a vegetable stock cube. Then, add a teaspoon of all of the following: chilli powder, ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir everything well and simmer for 25 minutes until the sauce thickens. Now you’re ready to freeze the portions and you will have plenty of delicious, high-protein meals waiting for you when you’re home from surgery.
Another thing you can do to make your body as healthy as possible before surgery is to stay hydrated. In the week before the surgery, make sure your body is well hydrated and this can help to reduce nausea when you wake up from the surgery, but it can also help to avoid other complications. Ask your surgeon how much water they would recommend you drink and stick to that!
Practice Post-Surgical Exercises
Another thing you can do is to practice your post-surgical exercises. For particular surgeries, it is likely that your surgeon will recommend particular exercises to aid your recovery when it is safe to do so. Practicing the technique of stretches and movement swill help you to perfect them before the surgery, so you know that you are doing them properly and not potentially causing further harm.
The preparation you need to do for your specific surgery will differ, as what you need to do before having a hip replacement in London will be very different than if you are having plastic surgery Manchester-based. Always check with your surgeon the right choices for you!