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Preparing for a successful surgery — through a team approach

If you are facing surgery soon, you are not the only one. About 48 million surgical inpatient procedures were performed in the United States in 2009, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. There are basically two ways to approach a pending surgery. You can worry and hope everything will go well or you can do all that you can to find out about the surgery and be prepared, which can both calm your fears and improve the outcome.

Take a tip from successful sports figures who rely on the many professionals on their team to help them be ready for the big day. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your medical team.

Get a game plan from the surgeon: Although you may know why you are having surgery, you may not be clear about what will happen, so ask. Talk with your surgeon about the steps involved in the procedure and then ask questions about parts that are not clear to you. You may also want to ask if the surgeon will be placing a marking on your body to be sure the correct spot or limb is being addressed.

Share your concerns about any existing conditions you might have and whether they will affect the outcome. Ask about any risks connected with the surgery and what is being done to control them. Find out if you need to stop or start any medications before the surgery. It is important to also share information about any supplements you may take like ginkgo biloba or vitamins since they can affect the surgical experience.

Be sure to share any fears you might have so the surgeon can help you face them. Don’t forget to ask about what will happen after the surgery. If you know that a certain level of pain or immobility is expected, you can be prepared for it rather than be surprised by it.

Check in with the anesthesiologist: Sometimes there are options for anesthesia, so ask if you have a choice. Local anesthesia means just a small part of your body will be numbed for surgery. Regional anesthesia involves a larger area and general anesthesia means the whole body will be affected. Ask about how the anesthesia will be administered. Some are inhaled while others are given through a shot or an IV. Ask if any of the medications or supplements you take will affect the anesthesia and if they should be stopped before surgery. If you understand what is going to happen and why, there will be less anxiety on surgery day.

Team up with the hospital staff: The nurses, technicians and therapists at the hospital are ready to be on your recovery team. Try to cooperate with their requests to sit up or move. Alert them if you are feeling too much discomfort. Speak up if someone has neglected to give you one of your regular medications. Watch to make sure everyone is washing their hands and taking the proper steps to prevent infection.

Review the home field: Be sure to line up all that you will need following surgery including special equipment, prescriptions and comfy clothing for recovery. Make plans for any possible barriers like steps. It might also be a good idea to prepare some easy meals in advance if you don’t have anyone to cook for you. Make contact with any caregivers or therapists that you will need for post-surgical care.

Be the most valuable player on the team:Try to be as healthy as you can be for surgery day. Eat healthy to boost your immune system. If your doctor allows, you may want to stretch and exercise to get your muscles ready. Follow all instructions about stopping or starting medications. If you take steps to be informed and prepared, you will be physically and mentally ready for a successful surgical experience.

Consider a way to improve recovery odds: To increase your odds for a successful recovery, consider choosing to recover in a short-term rehabilitation center where you can be assured of a strong support team. One preferred location for this level of care is Glenview Terrace. Glenview Terrace offers health care expertise combined with an unrelenting commitment to comfort, dignity and guest satisfaction, making it one of the area’s finest choices for care following surgery or another medical event requiring a hospital stay.

Glenview Terrace, which has earned Medicare’s highest five-star rating, provides one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies up to seven days a week with the goal of returning the patient home as quickly as possible. The dedicated nursing team and support staff are ready with round-the-clock care for every need that arises from wound care to pain management.

This specialized care is offered in an elegant environment. The well-appointed rooms and suites are filled with custom-designed furnishings and include a deluxe bathroom with a private shower. Post-hospital rehabilitation guests are pampered with a variety of amenities including attentive concierge service, morning coffee and newspaper delivered daily to the room, diverse menu selections and much more. The attractive grounds and tranquil fountain are just some of the extras that go into creating an inviting environment for recovery.

When looking for compassionate care with elegance, consider Glenview Terrace, where the goal is to quickly and safely get you back to your independent lifestyle. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.

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