Your Surgery Journey (Video 3): Getting Ready at Home

hello my name is Katrina a nurse and

Erath coordinator working with Alberta

Health Services over the next few

minutes I'll briefly discuss what you

can do now to plan ahead for your

surgery planning ahead can make your

hospital stay more comfortable your

discharge easier and your recovery

faster the first set of things you can

do are all about getting your body

healthier stop smoking if you can for

many people having a surgery is a great

motivation to quit smoking this is

because quitting will help avoid

problems with your lungs after surgery

additionally the extra oxygen in your

blood will help your surgical wounds

heal faster cut down or stop drinking


many people enjoy an occasional glass of

wine beer or other liquor however too

much alcohol is hard on your body

especially your liver getting exercise

try to be in the best shape possible

before you surgery if you don't already

exercise start slowly even going for a

short 10 to 15 minute walk is better

than no exercise after your surgery in

the hospital we'll be asking you to walk

at least 3 times per day this will help

your body recover eat healthy healthy

foods help you be in the best shape

possible before your surgery some

diseases can cause a poor appetite or

weight loss let your surgeon or nurse

know if you have been eating less than

usual or losing weight stop using street

drugs recreational drugs such as

marijuana can have serious side effects

when mixed with the medicines use during

and after surgery it can also make pain

control more difficult so your surgeon

anesthesiologist and nurses need to know

if you use recreational drugs for more

information on these topics speak to

your doctor

pharmacist or call health link tell your

nurse or anesthesiologist if you take

prescription pain medicine your pain

medicine or dose may have to be changed

after your surgery your body may be used

to a certain level of pain medicine so

how much you need to deal with your pain

may have to be adjusted after surgery

once you're home from your hospital stay

you'll still need more rest and might

need some help with a few things here

are some suggestions that will make life

a little bit easier book a ride home ask

a responsible family member or friend to

be ready to bring you home after your

hospital stay preferably by car plan for

meals good nutrition is important for

your recovery but cooking may be a

little bit harder right after you get

home so prepare and freeze some meals

ahead of time or ask friends and family

to help with cooking or grocery shopping

get help with chores after you get home

you may need a little bit of help with

things like washing clothes or

housekeeping plan ahead now to try and

have some help with these sorts of

chores now we'll discuss some things you

should get ready the day before your

surgery the hospital will call you or

you will be asked to call the hospital

the day before surgery in this phone

call you will be reminded about a few

important details one of these reminders

is about what time your surgery is

usually you will need to be at the


2 to 3 hours before surgery make sure

you write down what time you need to be

at the hospital and where to go once you

get there follow the instructions in the

eating and drinking before surgery

handout this handout gives you specific

instructions about what to eat and drink

and when you must stop eating and

drinking make sure you follow these

instructions closely if you don't your

surgery could be counseled this is for

your own safety to prevent food and

fluid from going into your lungs

this is called aspiration and it's

life-threatening so once again follow

the instructions on the eating and

drinking before surgery handout very

closely some of the details this handout

discusses include how much fluids with

carbohydrate or sugar you should drink

to get your body ready for surgery

also reminders that you absolutely must

stop eating at least eight hours before

your surgery the handout also reminds

you not to drink any alcohol for 24

hours before your surgery if you have

any diabetes or kidney problems make

sure you have asked your healthcare

provider if you should be doing anything

different if your surgeon wants you to

do a bowel preparation you need to stop

eating food for longer period of time

before your surgery a nurse at your

pre-admission clinic will tell you if

you need a bowel preparation and they'll

also instruct you on how to do this many

patients tend to bring too many

belongings to the hospital you don't

actually need very much so we ask you to

pack like the night before surgery list

outlines what we recommend you to bring

to the hospital try to bring these

things in one small bag that has your

name on it anything not on the list

could always be brought later by friends

or family things to remember include

Alberta health care card Blue Cross or

other insurance card photo ID chewing

gum personal items like glasses dentures

or hearing aids hygiene items like

toothbrush and toothpaste a book or

magazine to read your medicines in their

original containers what should you not

bring anything of value the hospital

cannot be responsible for any items that

get lost so please leave any valuables

safe at home and don't bring any more

than twenty dollars cash now we'll list

a few things you need to do the night

before surgery if you won't have time to

take a shower or bath in the morning

have one before you go to bed using soap


wash yourself including your belly

button then wear clean pajamas to bed

try not to use any makeup creams lotions

perfumes or similar products ensure you

don't shave the area your surgery will

be doing so can increase your risk of


remove all nail polish as well as all

jewelry including body piercings finally

some patients will need to give

themselves an enema to empty their lower

bowel pack staff or your surgeon will

let you know if you need one please

follow the instructions you're given

with it once you reach the day of your

surgery there are several more important

things to be prepared for to start if

you take any medicines pack or your

surgeon will let you know what medicines

you should take on the morning of your

surgery also remember you must stop

drinking as directed before surgery the

eating and drinking before surgery

handout give you more instructions about

this some patients may need an enema

done when they arrive to the hospital a

PAC nurse or surgeon will let you know

if you need one I hope you found these

suggestions and reminders helpful

because planning ahead can make your

surgery and recovery a better experience

thank you for joining me and I hope you

have a very successful surgery