This is a general guideline for getting yourself ready for surgery. Luckily, you most likely have the ability to plan in advance and get yourself into the best physical shape possible and get your life set up for an easy recovery. Surgery is traumatic, from both a a physical and a psychological aspect. When you are experiencing health problems, life can feel very out of control. Little things like preparation can help ease the anxiety that always accompanies an expedition into the operating room.
Prehabilitation is the growing science of using not only phyical training, but nutrition and psychological well being to prepare patients for the trauma of surgery. A healthy body heals faster, there can be no debate on this point. The goal for Pilonidal Surgery Prehab is to reduce stress by putting the mind at ease by preparation, increasing body healing mechanism responses, and have a nutritional boost at the ready to support healing and recovery after surgery.
Use your time before surgery to get yourself in the best possible health before you show up at the operating room. Eat like you are training for the Olympics, take a multivitamin daily, and get out to engage in some kind of exercise - even just fitness walking. The better health you are in when you go for your surgery, the quicker you will heal, the better you will handle the anesthesia and the sooner you will be back to your regular activities.
Diet - high quality proteins, fruits, vegetables. Whole grain breads. No fried food. Skip the drive thru.
Exercise - get your heart pumping, especially get your legs moving since you'll be doing a lot of lying down for the first week of recovery. Walking every day is great, some light weight training also is even better. Exercises that help with flexibility are an excellent idea as you'll be twisting your upper body to look at your surgical site fairly regularly during recovery.
Life planning - plan for your recovery period, even if you just having the abscess lanced and drained you will be in "recovery" for at least 1 week. The best option is being able to take 2 weeks, but not everyone can take that much time off from work. Going right back to work within days of a surgical treatment is usually a mistake that the patient later regrets.
- Errands & business - pay bills, rent, mortgage, etc. Your physician will probably instruct you not to drive for the first 3 to 4 days of recovery, so do all your errands beforehand.
- Wound care - purchase cotton gauze, bandaging, first aid tape (hypoallergenic is best), rubbing alcohol, cleansing products like Hibiclens, scissors, small free standing mirror, Epsom Salt, Q-Tips.
- Unless you are having a flap procedure, you won't be staying overnight so no need to pack a bag. BUT, you will be a much happier person going home if you wear loose, comfy clothing like sweat pants. You will have lot of bandaging on your tush and tight jeans are a really bad idea, in fact, anything tight is a REALLY bad idea. And ladies, skip the thongs for this outing....
- Plan for who is driving you home. If you are going under any kind of sedation, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home. Even with a small office procedure like a lancing, it is best to have someone else driving so you can try and figure out how to sit comfortably for the trip without having to watch the road.
- Purchase a hand sprayer to attach to your shower or bath spout (for flushing out the wound).
- Pick up pain prescription & extra OTC pain relievers.
- Purchase groceries for at least a week: high quality proteins, fruits & veggies, whole grains. Give your body the nutrition it needs to heal itself.
- Think about purchasing a Coccyx Cushion and laxatives. The cushion is just an all-around good idea and many prescription pain meds have a side effect of constipation.
- In the two weeks prior to your surgery you should not take aspirin, ibuprofen, ginkgo biloba, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginseng or Vitamin E. All of these are known to interfere with blood clotting or anesthesia.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water the day before your surgery! Anesthesia tends to dehydrate the body and you will recover quicker if you started out well hydrated.
- Purchase vitamins: make sure you are getting the RDA of vitamins A, C & E. Also make sure you get at least 20 mg of Zinc, which is crucial for wound healing. **Note: Stop taking vitamin E at least 10 days before surgery.
- Personal business: make arrangements in case the unthinkable happens. While this is not major surgery, we live in an uncertain world and even if you don't need surgery you should make arrangements for your wishes to be carried out in the event that you are unable to communicate them. Write them down, give them to someone you trust. This isn't morbid, it's just common sense. Any one of us can be involved in a car collision tomorrow. Lastly, remember, you aren't an organ donor until you've told your family...
- Skip the enema. Many C/R surgeons issue a set of standard pre-op instructions which include this direction. Unless you are having surgery very close to the anus, there is no need.
This page last updated: 11/05/2010