Prior to surgery, your physician will give you a packet of information prepared by Virginia Hospital Center's preoperative screening department, including an introductory letter explaining how you can best prepare for your pending surgery. Please take time to read this information. The steps below are general guidelines only, and are not meant to replace your physician's preoperative recommendations.
- Learn about the procedure by reading and doing your own research.
- Take Care of Yourself - Practice eating well, staying fit, and getting lots of rest, especially in the weeks leading up to your procedure. If you smoke, try to quit a minimum of two weeks prior to surgery. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to have a smooth recovery. Be sure to follow your physician's instructions regarding eating, drinking, smoking and taking medications in the hours before your procedure.
- Make a "To Do" List - Do you have pets or children who will need care in your absence? Do you need to alert your boss or coworkers about your plans for surgery and recovery?
- Medications - Even if you are going home the same day as your surgery, you should bring your medications (including insulin if you are diabetic) to the Hospital.
- Food Shop Before Your Surgery - the diet recommended post surgery is light and easily digestible. It is recommended that you start with crackers, soup and then advance diet as tolerated. Buy or have prepared a variety of your favorite easily digest foods at home. Also buy your favorite fluids.
- Arrange for Help with Prescriptions - The Hospital does not have an outpatient pharmacy and can not dispense medications to go home with our patients. So that you will easily be able to fill the prescriptions you need, arrange in advance for a family/friend to be available to do so.
- Arrange for Transportation - After most surgeries, you should not drive yourself home from the Hospital. Arrange for a friend of family member to accompany you and help you with your immediate postoperative needs.
- Plan To Be Clean - Patients should bathe on the day of surgery, prior to arriving at the Hospital.
- Plan for a Smooth Recovery - Ask you physician what you should expect in the days and weeks after your procedure. Purchase any necessary supplies in advance, and make sure you have adequate postoperative help, whether from a family member or professional caregiver.