The Best Tips to Help You Prepare for Surgery

Q: I’m getting ready to undergo a mastectomy, and I’m nervous. There are so many things to think about and organize right now, and I feel overwhelmed! Do you have any tips on how I can prepare for my procedure?

A: Thanks for your question! First of all, take a deep breath. You’re not alone. A lot of women ask us how they can optimize their time and resources before and after surgery. We love this in-depth article from Best Friends for Life Co., which gives you an essential checklist of items to cover and pack, as well as key terms to understand your medical status pre-surgery. They also have post-surgery steps for what to expect. From the article, here are a few essential tips:

“If you work, you will need to inform your employer that you will be on medical leave for at least 2 weeks.  You might feel up to going back earlier, but it’s best to give yourself a buffer.

Make sure you’ve discussed payments and coverage with your health insurer before your surgery. Get all pre-authorizations in writing, and make sure you are aware of any out-of-pocket costs you will have to pay. There is sometimes a difference between what you are billed for and what your insurance will pay, and you should be prepared ahead of time to avoid surprises.

Get your house in order – literally. Pay bills, do your financial chores, get the laundry done, prepare and freeze microwave meals, and have help lined up for yourself, your house and kids.  Do any necessary heavy cleaning before your surgery, because pushing a vacuum cleaning or changing sheets will not be possible for quite a while afterward

Go shopping. Make sure you have several days’ worth of groceries for your family. Stock up on crackers, broth based soups (not creamy) and jello.  These are all easy to digest the first few days at home. Get some bendable straws; it makes it easier to drink.”

Be sure the read the entire article at their website. We also LOVE their BFFLBags, which take care of a lot of little details while you’re in the hospital or surgical center.

Do you have medical questions? Submit your question to Ask the Doctor today! Be sure to browse our archives, too.