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So You’re Having Surgery, Now What?

I've undergone four procedures during my life and I'm about to undergo a fifth. Having surgery for the first time or at all can be extremely stressful. Here are some tips to help ease surgery anxiety, based on my experiences.


The first and most important thing is to trust your surgeon and their team. They've been doing this for a long time and they know what they're doing. The nurses are absolutely phenomenal and will do anything and everything to make sure you're comfortable. Reminding yourself of your trust in the nurses and doctors is a very helpful way to calm your nerves on surgery day. Everyone on your surgery team will introduce themselves to you while you're in pre-op or once you arrive in the operating room and although it is quite a feat to remember everyone and what their job is, it is nice to be familiar with the faces that will be by your side. 


Do not be afraid to ask for things or make specific requests. For me personally, I have very poor eyesight and the protocol is for the nurses to take all personal belongings including glasses before you are wheeled back. However, I didn't like not being able to see anything at that time, so I asked if I could keep my glasses until the last possible moment and they let me. They will try to accommodate you the best they can, just don't be afraid to ask.


Another way to calm your nerves before the big day is to learn about the procedure. You can learn so much more than what your doctor explained by a simple Google search, and if you're not too squeamish, you can even watch the procedure being done on someone else. Having an understanding of exactly what is going to happen is a great way to prevent feelings of anxiety. Never be afraid to ask questions. Whether it's a nurse or your surgeon, everyone there is happy to answer your questions. The most important thing to remember is that your surgery is an everyday activity for them. They know exactly what they're doing. Take advantage of your designated team. They are there to serve you and are always happy to do so. Remember to take some deep breaths and the next thing you'll know, you'll be in a recovery room with your loved ones and everything will be over.


Although surgery can be a pretty scary undertaking, it is always nice to remember that you're in the best hands. Don’t let the fear of having a procedure stop you from getting one. Speaking with experience, the worst part is recovery, surgery is easy. If you're headed to have an operation soon, I wish you the best of luck and hope that this article helped to calm your nerves even just a little. 

I am a freshman at Michigan State. I am studying physiology on a Pre-medical track. I love writing about current events and advice. I hope that my articles are helpful and informative.
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