The idea of having open-heart surgery can be more than daunting. Although it’s now a regular surgical procedure, you’ll naturally feel unsure and scared. There will probably be countless unanswered questions swimming around your head, and one of the most common ones is likely to be “How can I prepare myself both mentally and physically?”
As soon as you know that your heart surgery is scheduled, the best thing you can do is to prepare your body and mind for it. This means getting into the best condition possible, which also means following a well-balanced diet, performing light exercises, cut out smoking and drinking, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding certain medications that could interfere with surgical procedures and new medicines. It’s also advisable to visit your family dentist for a routine checkup to get rid of any possible bacterial infections that could travel into your bloodstream.
The best thing you can do is research. Load yourself with as much information as you can find, and also, take every measure possible to get into top physical shape before going into surgery.
Diet and Open Heart Surgery
They say you are what you eat, and while you can’t go back in time and magically wave the wand to change your previously poor eating habits, you will need to take care before your open heart surgery. Get heart smart and follow a heart-friendly diet. Cut out all those ‘evil’ heart foods, including sugar, salt, and Trans fats and follow a regime of fresh produce and organic meats and fish. Your heart will thank you for it, and you’ll also be thankful for all the other benefits a healthy diet can bring.
If you’re overweight, try shedding off a few pounds; weight loss helps lowers the blood pressure and as a result, there will be fewer chances of any complications during surgery.
Kick Bad Habits
Smoking is not good for you. We’ve known this for many years. And now is the best time to quit the dirty habit and say goodbye to it. In a nutshell, if you smoke, there’s no point undergoing open heart surgery. Smoking leads to heart disease, and if you’re not willing to give up the habit today, your heart health isn’t going to improve regardless of surgery or not.
It’s time to get more active. Exercising can save your life, and while you might not be able to endure heavy workouts and hours of running on the treadmill, you can do light exercises. Exercise will improve your muscles and protect the heart; it’s also an excellent way to drop those stubborn pounds and belly fat. A light workout a few times a week will improve your chances of having a successful surgery without complications, and it will also boost recovery time. Ask your doctor for advice on how you can start your exercise regiment without injury pre and post-surgery.
The Rollercoaster of Emotions
You’re going to go up and down. When you get the call up saying your surgery has been approved and scheduled, you’ll initially think “Thank God.” You’ll be happy that things are going to get fixed, and you’ll finally be able to enjoy life without the stress of worrying about your heart condition. This will be followed by stress, fear, anxiety, and even depression. This rollercoaster of emotions is normal. But you need to know that stress can affect the outcome of your surgery and during the post-surgery recovery period; therefore, get your mind in check before your operation should be a priority.
Exercise will help. It releases the ‘happy hormones’, called endorphins. Sleep is just as important. A lack of sleep creates more anxiety and worry. Therefore, ensure you should at least get eight hours of sleep a day will make you feel a hundred times better. Also, it’s recommended to lay off caffeine. Saying goodbye to coffee could be a stressful thought in itself, but at the end of the day, wouldn’t you prefer to enjoy many more cups of coffees after your surgery than putting your body under more unnecessary strain?
Talk to people. Chat with your friends and surround yourself with positive energy. Book an appointment with your surgeon or doctor before the procedure and get all the answers and information you need from them.
Today, thousands of people around the world undergo open heart surgery on a daily basis. It’s no big deal these days, especially with all the knowledge and great technology we’ve got. Stop worrying about the surgery itself and focus on you. Focus on your body and mind and look to the future. Focus on what your life will be like post-surgery, and this is what will get you through.