Going in for surgery may not be pleasant, but you can do things to reduce your stress both before and after it happens. Being organized means you’ll have less to worry about as you recover.

Not sure how to start? Here’s a checklist of 10 things to do or bring with you before your day surgery.

  1. Have someone else drive you home afterwards.
    After your surgery, you might feel groggy or dizzy. To stay safe, make sure that someone is there to drive you home after you’re discharged. In fact, many hospitals refuse to allow their patients to drive after surgery, or to take public transit.
  1. Have someone else care for your pets.
    It may take you a while to fully recover from your surgery, so you may need someone to take care of your pet if you’re not able to do so. Bayview Concierge offers customized pet care services for those in need.
  1. Clear your schedule so you don’t need to do any tasks requiring skill, coordination, or judgment immediately after surgery.
    St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto recommends that day surgery patients avoid any mentally or physically strenuous tasks for at least 24 hours after receiving anaesthetic.
  1. Take your medication as recommended by your doctor.
    Following your doctor’s advice before your surgery is incredibly important. If your doctor recommends that you continue taking medication—or that you stop taking medication—before your surgery, listen to them.
  1. Follow all instructions regarding eating and drinking the day before your surgery.
    You might be told not to eat or drink or anything after midnight the day before the surgery. However, advice may vary from place to place. For example, Sunnybrook Hospital allows diabetic patients to bring snacks with them.
  1. Take off all makeup, nail polish, perfumes, and jewelry before heading to the hospital.
    Not wearing these items will allow your doctors to better monitor your health before and after the surgery. For example, your fingers may swell up, which means that you risk injury if you wear rings.
  1. Pack an extra change of clothes.
    If you’re staying at the hospital for a day or two afterwards, having an extra change of clothes could make you more comfortable.
  1. Bring your medication with you.
    That way, you can avoid risking any complications after surgery, and your doctors can advise you on changes to your medical routine.
  1. Have someone else bring other personal effects to the hospital like slippers or a nightgown.
    Again, this could make you more comfortable during an extended stay.
  1. Pack any information brochures or documentation that the hospital has given you.
    St. Mike’s has a pamphlet it gives to people undergoing day surgery, and other hospitals may have similar documentation. Keeping this information with you will help you stay informed before, during, and after your surgery.

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