When facing surgery, a person often begins to wonder how to prepare for surgery to heal faster afterwards. While individual people heal at different rates, and some preexisting conditions can cause people to heal very slowly, there are some things that can be done to help prepare the body to function optimally in hopes of healing quickly after a surgical procedure.
- Assess the current diet and nutrition intake to make sure that it is providing optimal nutrition and energy (calories) for the person's body and energy expenditure prior to surgery. The diet should include a variety of fruits and vegetables, consumed daily, as well as dairy or other form of vitamin D and calcium. Adequate protein intake should also be assessed and sufficient carbohydrates as well. If necessary, consult with a registered dietician or nutritionist to assess the overall quality of the current diet. Nutrition plays a large role in how well the body functions, including how fast the body can heal. While excellent nutrition will not provide super-human healing powers, it can allow the body to heal at a slightly faster and more efficient rate.
- Engage in regular exercise to keep the body running optimally, which will assist in the healing process following surgery. The healthier the body is prior to surgery, the more successful the surgery is likely to be, and the faster the surgery recipient is likely to recover. By engaging in regular exercise, including cardiovascular exercises for improved heart rate, blood pressure, blood circulation, and lung capacity, and weight training to keep muscles strong and support the skeletal structure in the body, the surgery recipient will be setting himself up for success when it comes time to recover following surgery. If this is not something that is currently possible, for example, due to a physical condition causing the need for the surgery, then this step will obviously have to be neglected. If physical activity is not a problem prior to surgery, but the surgery recipient is not currently engaged in a regular workout program, the sooner he gets active the better.
- Adjust the sleep schedule to allow six to eight hours each night and waking up between six a.m. and seven a.m. each day, even on weekends. Sleep is often overlooked when it comes to the body's ability to heal or heal faster, but it is a vital aspect of the healing process. Bodies need sleep to recover, and the sooner a set sleep schedule is put in place the better. Continuing the sleep schedule on weekends will help ensure that it is easy to maintain. A good rule of thumb is, if an alarm clock is needed to wake up "on time," then the sleep schedule is not accurate. Adjust the length of time sleep occurs, and the bedtime, to help create a sleep schedule that allows the surgery recipient to wake up at the right times each day.
- Talk to the surgeon to learn what to expect after the surgery. Not all surgeries are created equal, and not all people are either. Some may heal in two or three weeks following a surgical procedure, while another person may need two to three months to recover from the same surgical procedure. Knowing what to expect, and having the approximate recovery times, will help prepare for the surgery and help prepare to heal and recover afterwards.