Between 40 and 50 million major surgeries are performed in the US each year. Despite this staggeringly high number, most people aren’t sure what to expect or how to prepare for surgery.
Some patients undergo an emergency operation quickly after sustaining an injury. As a result, preparation becomes less important than aftercare. Most patients, however, schedule their surgeries in advance and may be left wondering what to expect next.
Each surgery is different and it is crucial that patients follow their surgeon’s specific orders. However, there are some steps that you can expect to take regardless of what surgery you are receiving.
Read on to learn more about how to prepare for surgery.
Showing Up Ready For Surgery
Once again, your surgeon will provide specific instructions to prepare for surgery in the days beforehand. Typically, these measures will cover things like:
- when to stop eating and drinking beforehand
- when (if necessary) to empty the bowels via an enema or other medical intervention
- what areas of the body (if necessary) to shave
- what procedures (ie blood tests, X-rays, or electrocardiograms) to complete ahead of time
Most patients are advised to wear loose clothing on the day of their surgery. They may also need to forgo things like makeup, jewelry, and contact lenses.
Bringing the Proper Documents
In addition to preparing your body for surgery, you will also need to prepare the right documents. This will include your:
- Social Security card and/or ID
- insurance information
- Medicare or Medicaid card (if applicable)
Note that you may not need to bring these documents but that they may make the process more efficient. Some surgeons may also require you to bring relevant medical records. However, they will likely already have this information in their system.
Accounting for Financial Burdens
It can also help to assess the potential financial burden associated with your surgery. What will your copay look like? Will you lose any income while recovering or can you receive some form of leave?
If you’re not sure what the financial burden may look like, that’s okay, too. In fact, some unexpected financial burdens can arise along the way that you will have to account for in the aftermath.
For example, if you are the victim of medical malpractice, you will need to find an attorney to fight your case on your behalf. Many patients don’t realize right away that they are the victim of medical malpractice, and it could be months before you are aware that you have a case on your hands.
Use This Guide to Prepare For Surgery
US operating rooms are the site of millions of major surgeries every year. Many of those patients are undergoing surgery for the first time. If this sounds familiar, use this guide to prepare for surgery and know what to expect.
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