How to prepare for a successful recovery from surgery

When recovering from a surgery, make plans for your schedule and family, but for your body as well. (Photo:

Recovering from surgery can be a lengthy, difficult process, and depending on the type of surgery you’re going to have, thinking about how your body will be affected and what will need to be done while you’re recuperating can be stressful. Individuals with small children at home, for instance, may be at a loss as to how their household will stay together while they’re on bed rest.

It’s important not only to make plans for your schedule and family, but for your body as well. Talk to your doctor to find out the best ways to get ready for your surgery. She may advise you to take aspirin to prevent blood clotting, or to refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol in the weeks leading up to your operation.

Having a good plan in place will ensure your own peace of mind, and it will allow you to prepare as much as possible for your safety and comfort. Read on for a few of the best tips on getting ready for a successful recovery.

Figure out a schedule

Talk to your doctor and work out a tentative recovery schedule. This will help you figure out how best to plan, as you’ll have a general timeframe to work with. Ask about how long you’ll be on bedrest, if applicable, and how long in days or weeks before you’ll be mobile enough to do light housework, drive a car, and go back to work. Depending on which part of your body will be affected by the surgery, you may have other considerations to make, such as using special equipment or having home visits from a nurse.

Educate yourself

It’s always a good idea to know as much as possible about your procedure beforehand. Do some research online and talk to your doctor to find out about all your options, what the complications could be, and what the cost will be (as well as what insurance will cover). For large-scale surgeries, such as dental implants, you may be able to pay in installments. For more information, visit

Get healthy

Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water in the weeks leading up to your surgery will help your body recover more easily. You might also ask your doctor about taking multivitamins or boosting your vitamin C intake beforehand, as well.

It’s also a good idea to prepare several meals to freeze, things that will be easy to reheat or throw into the slow-cooker. This way, you won’t have to worry about dinner and you and your family will have a healthy meal ready to go.

Arrange for childcare

You can’t expect to have a stress-free recovery if you’re worried about the wellbeing of your children, so make plans well ahead of time for their care or for transportation. If necessary, talk to the school and let them know if someone else will be picking them up for a few days. You may need to ask a good friend or family member to come over after school and help things run smoothly while you rest.

Know the risks

With any surgery, it’s imperative to know what the risks are and to be aware of any potential issues between pain medications and over-the-counter meds, or with anything you’re already taking for a previous condition. Talk to your doctor about the risks of every part of your procedure, and communicate with your family members so they know how best to help you.

Being prepared for your surgery will ensure you have a successful recovery, so start planning a few weeks ahead of time. Talk to your loved ones about your preparations so that everyone is on the same page, and don’t forget to practice self-care, which is extremely important for your mental health as well as your physical.

Text: USHealthCorps