We know that having surgery can be a worrying time and you may have lots of questions. It’s important in the lead up to your operation that you take time to reduce stress and stay calm to help your mind and body prepare. Try to remain as relaxed as possible, our staff are very friendly and will help put you at ease on the day.
Being stressed or anxious about your surgery could mean that you need to stay in hospital longer and you are more at risk of complications or having to come back into hospital later on. There are lots of resources available to help you to relax, from making changes to your routine, increasing the amount of sleep you are having, to trying out meditation.
If you have any questions about your operation please speak to your consultant or the pre-assessment team and they will be happy to help. You’ll also find lots of information on our Next Steps page about what to expect when you come into hospital.
- 5 steps to mental wellbeing – Trying these steps could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.
- 10 stress busters – Read about how to identify and manage stress
- I’m finding it hard to sleep – Find out why sleep is so important, what can be the effects of lack of sleep and what you can do to sleep better.
- Sleep and tiredness – Advice on why you might be tired all time, and when to get support
Throughout your surgery, one of our anaesthetists will look after your breathing while you are asleep. You can help them, by practicing deep breathing exercises before your operation to help lower the risk of developing a chest infection after your surgery. You can do this by taking a deep breath in, holding it for three seconds and then breathing out. The exercises will also help to open up your airways and move phlegm.
To deep breathe correctly, you must use your abdominal muscles, as well as your chest muscles.
- Breathe in through your nose as deeply as possible.
- Hold your breath for five to 10 seconds.
- Let your breath out through your mouth, slowly and completely. As you breathe with pursed lips (like blowing out a candle), your stomach should be going in. Exhale twice as long as you inhale.
- Rest and then repeat these steps
Managing your weight
If you’re overweight, losing weight has many health benefits. Making small, simple changes to what and how much you are eating and drinking can really help.
Patients who are overweight and obese are at higher risk of complications from their surgery. This means the operation may take longer and you are more likely to have wound infections or need another operation if you do not recover well.
You may have heard of BMI (body mass index), which is a way to measure whether you are at a healthy weight for your age and height. The higher your BMI, the higher your chance of there being complications from your operation.
The Living Well ‘Choose what works for you’ weight management offer is available for people living in Bradford district.
You can choose 12 weeks’ FREE membership with:
- Weight Watchers (WW)
- Slimming World
To find out more visit: https://mylivingwell.co.uk/eating-well/manage-your-weight
Eat well and look after yourself
As you begin moving more, it’s really important that you are eating healthy foods that fuel your body. Healthy eating is about more than just managing your weight, it’s about keeping eating a balanced diet and a variety of foods including wholegrain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Improving your nutrition
As you plan for your surgery, it’s important that you’re eating lots of different foods that give your body the energy and nutrients that it needs to recover more quickly and keep you in good health for longer. Aim to eat a healthy balanced diet. This will help give your body the extra energy it needs after the operation to heal your wound and prevent infection.
If you have lost your appetite and lost weight, you may find that eating small amounts more often is better for you. You can also see your GP who may prescribe nutritional supplement drinks. We know that patients who are malnourished or underweight have poorer surgical outcomes and stay longer in hospital so it is really important to get support with improving your nutrition before your operation.