Taking care of your health so you are fit for your operation
Health and wellbeing are important to all of us, especially before undergoing surgery.
Surgery puts stress on your body, so the healthier you are, the better you'll handle it.
Evidence shows that improving your general health and wellbeing before surgery greatly improves outcomes, shortens recovery time and significantly reduces the risk of complications:
- Less risk of complications such as heart failure, stroke and infections from the surgery and, in the worst cases, death
- Fewer anaesthestic-related problems such as infections, confusion or memory loss, bladder problems, breathing difficulties, nerve damage or worsening of existing conditions
- Wounds heal faster and better with less risk of infection
If you are referred for surgery, your GP should already have spoken to you about the importance of being as fit and healthy as possible and will be helping you on your journey.
Any steps you can take to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, reduce your alcohol or substance use, or lose weight will benefit you.
Your blood pressure is normal (less than 160/100
You aren't anaemic
Your blood sugar levels are controlled
Your pulse is well controlled and the cause of any heart murmur has been investigated
Stopping smoking for at least eight weeks prior to your operation
Stopping smoking for at least eight weeks prior to your operation; or even moving to other forms of nicotine replacement such as patches, gum or e-cigarettes, significantly reduces the risks of surgery. You won't be able to smoke whilst in hospital and it's a good time to consider giving up for good.
Further, printer friendly, information is available in the leaflets section and from your local healthy lifestyle team.