How to Mentally Prepare for Your Surgery

It’s natural for patients to be a bit anxious while preparing to undergo surgery. For many, the fears stem from what the doctor might find, for others the mere act of being anesthetized is worrisome. For most, the anxiety is caused by the loss of control.


And while mild anxiety is normal and can be overcome through education and open communication with your doctor, more severe cases of pre-surgery anxiety have been shown to slow recovery.


It’s crucial that you pick a surgery team that understands this. 


The best surgical consultants know that the decision to undergo a procedure and the time before the surgery is performed is an anxious time. They will take the time to make sure all of your questions are answered, your concerns are addressed and you are fully educated about the procedure they are undergoing. 


Studies indicate that patients are much more likely to feel at ease if they know exactly what to expect during the surgery and post-operatively. 


“Patients who were well informed about the surgical procedure in advance had significantly less preoperative anxiety than those unaware of the procedure,” confirms a 2009 study on the impact of doctor-patient communication published in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal. 


The Puyallup Surgical Consultants care team knows the importance of effectively communicating with our patients. Our mission is to educate and inform in a compassionate way that fosters lasting trust. This approach, along with our experienced surgeons who have mastered modern techniques and technology, will help alleviate your concerns and feel confident about your decision.


While having open and honest communication with your doctor is the most important thing you can do pre-surgery, here are some other tips to keep yourself calm before a surgery. 


Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing meditation exercises have been proven to help calm the mind and body and can be effective in the days just prior to your surgery.


Positive Visualization: Imagine the moments right before your surgery as you are waiting to go into the operating room. Envision yourself feeling calm, relaxed. You are fully composed and confident. Repeat. 


Research Without Dwelling: Of course, your surgical team will be the best source of information on your procedure, but it is natural that you will do some online research of your own. And while fully educating yourself of course means learning about the risks, it is important that you don’t become overly focused on anecdotes related to negative outcomes. Understand the risks, but also be fully aware of the probabilities.


Listen to Music: Studies have indicated that patients who listen to relaxing music in the hours and moments before surgery were more relaxed than patients who were given medication to calm their nerves.

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