Preparing for Your Operation
Before Your Operation
• Listen to your surgeon and take a friend with you (4 ears hear better than 2 and 2 brains remember better than 1!!). Make notes and ask questions.
• Work out, maybe with the help of your GP, which painkillers agree with you and are effective for you. You may need these for some time after your operation.
• Organise things within your home, family and work, which might need doing or taking care of while you are out of action.
• Organise your house ready for your homecoming!! For example – is your bed/mattress soft enough to be comfortable? If not – a duvet on top of the mattress might help. Will you have someone with you for the first few days you are home? (You will need help with fetching and carrying and for some practical things like putting on shoes and socks).
• When you talk to your surgeon and anaesthetist prior to your operation, ask any questions you may have. This will be another opportunity to discuss pain relief.
• Depending upon the type of procedure you are having – your anaesthetist may recommend you have a general anaesthetic or possibly an epidural or sedation.
• Following your operation you may have a catheter – these are not painful and there to help you. They will not hurt when they are eventually removed.
• Pain relief is very important, and the nurses will explain and advise you on what you can have and how often.
• The day after your operation you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk. This activity will hurt a bit but it is very important that you mobilise as quickly as possible.
• Do all the exercises prescribed by the physiotherapist. You will be advised how often and how hard to try to do your exercises, but remember that relaxation is important too!
• Nights will be difficult as you will have less to distract you from the pain. Tell the nurses when you need pain relief.
• Be prepared for the painkillers to make you feel constipated – this will last for a while so consider taking some form of laxative. You may also feel a bit nauseous.