MHSC: A little planning makes surgery day, recovery a bit easier

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Noreen Hove – Surgical Services Director – Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

Once the decision has been made to have surgery, the real work begins. It can be a scary prospect.

You’ll want to be prepared for what needs to be done prior to surgery and what to expect when it’s over. There are some things you can do to minimize any surprises:

The date: What date is going to work best for you and those who will be helping you during your recovery?

Talk to the person or persons who will be there to help you on the day of surgery and for the days after. Some surgeries can take up to 10 weeks or more for recovery, limiting your ability to do your everyday chores.

Even if you are planning on having surgery and going home the same day, make arrangements with someone to look after pets or children for a day or two, just in case you have to stay a bit longer.

Work/school: Make sure your boss or your school knows as far in advance as possible so arrangements can be made to cover your job or give you homework that can be done while you are out.

Insurance: Knowing what your insurance will cover and how much out-of-pocket expense you will incur will eliminate any surprises. Your insurance company should be able to assist you with this. In addition, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has a Patient Financial Navigation team ready to help lead you. It’s a free patient service.

Pre-surgery visit: Most patients will have a pre-surgery visit with their surgeon. This is a great time to ask questions or share any concerns you have. The best way to do this is to make a list of questions. Between the time you get the news you are going to have surgery and that pre-surgery visit, keep a notepad handy to write down questions you’ll want answers to during your office visit.

After surgery, you may need to alter how you dress because of casts or other dressings. This is great information to ask about at your presurgical visit.

Prescriptions: Ask your surgeon if you are able to pick up any prescriptions the day before your surgery. This way, you’ll be able to go from the hospital to your home with no worries. Or, be sure the person helping you get from hospital to home can pick up the prescriptions for you.

Post-procedure: Set up any post-procedure appointments before your surgery date. This will allow others to make arrangements to help get you where you need to go.

Groceries: Stock your cupboards and refrigerator prior to surgery. Get items that will be easy to prepare and clean up. Making sure your kids’ snacks, pet food, and other necessary items are fully stocked will help ease the burden for those helping you during recovery.

Doing these things should help ease your mind during your surgical day and recovery.

Noreen Hove is the Surgical Services Director at Sweetwater Memorial. She is a master-prepared registered nurse, a certified operating room nurse, and certified as an infection control preventionist. To find out more about our Surgical Services team and all Sweetwater Memorial has to offer, go to sweetwatermemorial.com.


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