Undergoing surgery is like taking part in an athletic event, and in some cases is equivalent to running a marathon. Therefore to give yourself the best chance of a good recovery with minimal complications there are a number of things you can do yourself.
Increasing the amount of physical activity will ensure your body is fit as possible before the surgery. Although you may find it difficult to exercise due to the problem which requires surgery, do try to find ways of introducing some form of exercise into your daily routine. Even 15 minutes of walking is far better than not exercising at all.
Increased size makes both the anaesthetic and surgery more difficult with an increased risk of having serious heart and lung problems during or after the operation. There is also a greater chance of bleeding, longer hospital stay, wound infection and developing blood clots in the leg. It is therefore important to try to lose weight before your operation to reduce these risks.
Healthy Balanced Diet
A diet rich in fruit and vegetable as well as protein (which can be found in meat, fish and legumes – such as pulses, peas, beans, lentils) not only aids wound healing but gives you the necessary energy to recover from your surgery, reducing your length of hospital stay and getting you back on your feet as soon as possible.
Stopping smoking 4 weeks before your operation not only helps your
wounds to heal but also lowers your risk of breathing and heart problems
around the time of your operation. Even stopping smoking up to 3 days
before surgery allows more oxygen to be transported in the blood stream.
Ask your doctor about local NHS stop smoking services if you would like
help in quitting.
Cutting down on alcohol
If you drink more than the recommended daily average (2 units for women
and 3 units for men) you are at increased risk of complications around the
time of your operation. These include alcohol withdrawal, dehydration,
infection, heart problems or bleeding.
Long-term medical conditions
If you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems (eg asthma, emphysema) or heart problems (eg atrial fibrillation, angina, pacemaker), thyroid disease or anaemia arrange to see your GP or specialist nurse. They will determine if your disease is under control and if not further investigations may need to be arranged in order to improve your condition.
How can I help reduce healthcare-associated infections?
Infection control is important to the well being of our patients and for that reason we have infection control procedures in place. Keeping your hands clean prevents the spread of infections. You should use the hand sanitiser available at the main entrance of the hospital and at the entrance to every clinical area.