When having surgery, it is important that you enter the hospital in good health. In the days to weeks before surgery at an Atlantic Health System location, consider the following ways you can take control of the state of your physical fitness and overall health:
- Stop smoking
Smoking reduces the capacity of your lungs to put oxygen into your bloodstream. If you are a smoker, you can reduce complications of surgery and anesthesia by stopping smoking at least two weeks before surgery.
- Eat right
Maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet will give your body the strength and vigor it needs to undergo and recover from surgery. However, it is also important that you follow the instructions of your surgeon regarding diet restrictions (e.g., bowel preparation).
- Care for your skin
Be sure to avoid, as much as possible, scratches, scrapes, rashes and sunburn. Report any of these conditions to your surgeon.
Staying as active as possible prior to your surgery will keep your muscles strong and help your circulation and breathing.
- Prepare your home for when you return
Shop for groceries, prepare and store meals, go to the bank and pharmacy, do laundry, move objects that may obstruct your path, and make boarding arrangements for pets if you are unable to care for them during your recovery.