Having surgery can be a challenge for your body.
To get better results and faster recovery, you can do several things to prepare your body for surgery.
Michael Englesbe, M.D., a Michigan Medicine transplant surgeon, and Stewart Wang, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, suggest that all patients should do several things before their surgery to improve health outcome.
It is like doing some training before doing a race.
According to them, small lifestyle changes before a procedure (just 15 to 30 days) can have big effects.
Take exercise regularly
Patients don’t get stronger right after surgery. But if their body can manage functional status preoperatively, they can recover better and faster.
For example, in one training program in Michigan Medicine, patients are given a pedometer and receive daily text messages to remind them to pick up their steps.
The exercise helps patients spend fewer days in the hospital after surgery.
Eat a healthy diet
The researchers suggest that protein is key to building lean muscle mass. A healthful high-protein diet can help ensure the body is at its strongest.
This may help the body endure the surgery and recover quickly.
In addition, people with diabetes also should have their blood sugar under control first.
The researchers suggest that improving diet, no matter how late in life, is a great way to feel like doing something positive.
Do not smoke
Research has shown that smoking can increase all kinds of complications during surgery.
Doctors usually encourage all smokers to quit. In fact, some surgeries are withheld until an individual quits for good.
Permanently quitting smoking may help prevent other future problems.
Before surgery, patients may stress themselves unnecessarily. For example, they may worry they will bother others during their hospitalization and recovery.
It can be challenging to ask for, or accept help, but having a plan ahead can benefit everyone.
A recent study has shown that the above strategies can work well. The researchers found that patients who adhered to moderate changes in fitness, diet, and mental health before surgery spent less time in the hospital than those who hadn’t prepared at all.
In addition, their medical costs fell 28% compared with unprepared patients.
The researchers suggest that patients should talk to their doctors to make good preparations before surgery.
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