The Calm before the Surgery
Courtesy Heritage Park Surgical Hospital
Most people would prefer to not have any type of surgery in their lifetime. They are fearful of the operation, the anesthesia, the hospital itself, what their family and loved ones will be doing, and some even fear that first IV needle. Whether elective or emergent, the chances are that you will have to undergo some type of surgery in your lifetime. It is proven that the calmer you are, the better your surgical outcome. Relaxed bodies are easier to operate on and heal more quickly. The question then becomes – how do I relax and calm down before my surgery?
There are many ways to calm down before surgery. When you find out or decide to have surgery, it’s best to immediately find the way that calms you down the quickest and then practice that method so at the height of your anxiety right before surgery, you will know what works for you to remain calm.
Take a walk! Texoma has several parks and walkways that have a natural serenity to them. The day before your surgery, or even the morning of, take a long slow walk and enjoy your surroundings. This will not only calm you down, but exercising before surgery improves your surgical outcome as well. Your body will begin to strengthen and will also remember the strength it has during the physical therapy some undergo after surgery.
Know that your family is taken care of. At Heritage Park Surgical Hospital, our nurses and patient concierge staff take care of your family. We keep them updated as to where you are in the surgical process, make hotel or restaurant recommendations or reservations for you, and treat your family like gold. As nervous as you are about having surgery, chances are your family is just as nervous. Knowing that while you are in the operating room, your family is being looked after can be a relief.
My personal favorite is the mom. As a nurse, my mother has been helping people calm down for over 20 years, so as a child and now as an adult, she still uses those methods on me. Her method is to just continually remind me to breathe. “Breathe, just breathe,” she would echo until I unclenched her fist. These words might be the remedy for you. Think of the most calming person you know and even if he/she can’t be with you before your surgery, bring to mind the memories you have of this person. Then concentrate on breathing and only on breathing.
Let’s face it, we are in the information era, we want to know everything we can about what is happening to us. Simply researching your procedure and knowing what will happen and when can be a calming factor. Your physician might have materials about your procedure and there are many excellent resources on the Internet. Heritage Park Surgical Hospital has teamed up with WebMD to provide you with convenient links to the surgeries we perform most often. Visit our website and choose “Medical Services” to find more about your surgery.
When patients are anxious prior to surgery by Dr. William B. Plauche, he puts his hand on their shoulder, looks them in the eye and tells them, “It’s normal to be nervous and we are going to take care of you.” That reassurance has his patients looking more relaxed and thanking him for the words. At Heritage Park Surgical Hospital, our physicians are the best in their field and we post a full biography of them on our website. Just knowing your physician is experienced and will take care of you will calm you down.
Dr. Larry Wood has a similar approach. All patients are advised of the very high success rate of the surgery. However, when a patient is especially anxious he simply shares this, “I realize there is not much I can say today that will make you less nervous until after the surgery is done. However, please know I have talked many very nervous patients through the surgery before you.” This just reinforces the fact that you are not alone. Most people feel nervous and chances are your physician has helped someone just as nervous, so he/she can help you.
Calming down before surgery is essential to your health and post-surgery recovery. Find the method that works for you and start practicing days before your surgery is scheduled. Surgery itself is a scary thing, but we will help you and your family through it.
Heritage Park Surgical Hospital is located at 3601 N. Calais Street, Sherman, TX 75090. To learn more about their services visit HeritageParkSurgicalCenter.com.