Tags: surgery | operations | schedule | outcome | preparation

6 Ways to Shape Up Before Surgery

By    |   Sunday, 03 May 2015 06:19 PM


The average American will have nine operations during a lifetime.

The success of those procedures depends on the skill of the surgeon, the condition of the patient, the follow-up care, and another factor that patients rarely consider: patient preparation.

“Consider surgery like a sporting event,” board-certified surgeon Jamal M. Bullocks, M.D., of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston tells Newsmax Health.

“If you are an athlete, you wouldn’t want walk onto the field without first conditioning your body – training, eating well, getting enough sleep, and engaging in healthy habits. It’s the same for a surgical procedure.

“Surgery puts a lot of stress on the body and you do need to prepare.”

Of course, for some procedures, patients are given little notice. This means they don’t have time to prepare.

But for scheduled operations, here are six things you can do ahead of time to maximize your chances for a successful outcome:

1. Quit smoking: Experts say smoking doubles the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack during or after surgery because it blocks oxygen flow to the heart. Smoking also leads to complications in wound healing.

2. Review your medications: Bring a list of your medications, both prescription and supplements, to your doctor prior to surgery. Some steroids and anti-inflammatory medicines inhibit the production of collagen, which is essential for wound healing, says Dr. Bullocks. Some drugs can dangerously interact with anesthesia.

Anticoagulants such as blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) or Plavix can cause excessive bleeding during surgery. You also may need to stop taking some antidepressant drugs, which can cause serious side effects during surgery.

3. Check your vitamin levels: Vitamin D deficiency is rampant. Confirm with your doctor that you have adequate levels of this important vitamin, along with vitamins A, E, and C – all of which promote acute wound healing.

4. Control chronic conditions: These can increase the chances of complications during and after surgery. Work with your doctor to get your diabetes, blood pressure, kidney disease, or other chronic condition under control before going under the knife.

5. Control drinking: Alcohol withdrawal during or after surgery can cause seizures, irregular heartbeat, or respiratory failure. Be truthful with your doctor about how much you drink.

6. Walk a mile a day: University of Michigan thoracic surgeon Dr. Mark Orringer says he won’t operate on anyone unable to meet the modest fitness goal of being able to walk a mile.

The full version of this article appeared in Health Radar newsletter. To read more, click here.


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The average American will have nine operations during a lifetime. The success of those procedures depends on the skill of the surgeon, the condition of the patient, the follow-up care, and another factor that patients rarely consider: patient preparation. "Consider surgery...
surgery, operations, schedule, outcome, preparation
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2015-19-03
Sunday, 03 May 2015 06:19 PM
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