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How to Prepare for Surgery – A Patient’s Checklist

9 mins read

When any medical treatment calls for a surgery, certainly it rings the anxiety alarm. Nobody likes the picture of the operation theatre; it cannot help but give you the jitters.


But, the surgical procedure is only to make you feel better and healthy in the end. Now, to stay composed throughout the process, it is important to prepare yourself for the surgery. You need preparation from all perspectives – mentally, physically and financially. We have some important pointers to help you focus and analyze the situation objectively.

Let us understand in detail some of the most helpful tips. How to prepare for surgery from a patient’s perspective:

If you have a phobia of surgery, getting anxious about a surgical procedure is normal. But, when the anxiety becomes extreme, it can lead to nausea, increased heartbeat, chest pain and panic attacks. This calls for a psychological intervention. In such situations, arming yourself with information about your illness and talking to the doctor about your fear can help relieve a great deal of your anxiety. It also helps understand the surgical procedure. If the fear persists along with the above-mentioned symptoms, please consult a counsellor for tips to stay calm before surgery.


Discuss your problems openly with the counsellor. S/he will help you understand the problem objectively. The counsellor will assist you to conquer your fears before the actual procedure.

Know your diagnosis well!


Understanding your illness will encourage you to get the best treatment. When we face something which we are afraid of the most, the fear actually loosens its grip on our mind. Hence, it is important to understand your diagnosis well. This will help you know your treatment better.

Do not worry about the medical terms confusing you. You always have the option to make your doctor help you understand the terms in a simpler way. In addition, having knowledge about your illness will empower you to take the decision of second opinion. This will be helpful if you are not so sure of the on-going diagnosis and treatment.

Which anesthesia to use?

Ascertain your anesthetic treatment with a physician anesthesiologist. These highly qualified medical professionals play an important part in your treatment. They consult with you prior to surgery and closely monitor your anesthetic and vital functions during the process. They also follow up with you afterwards to ensure a smooth recovery and pain management.

General anesthesia, Spinal and local anesthesia are some relevant types of anesthesia for surgeries. General anesthesia requires the patient to be nil by mouth at least 8 hours before surgery. And in spinal anesthesia you do not feel anything from your waist down. And Local anesthesia involves numbing of the skin locally. They vary based on the type of procedures. They range from invasive surgeries like open-heart surgery to minor procedures including tooth extraction.

The type of anesthesia depends upon the type of operation, your health and the length of the procedure. It also depends upon your anesthesia provider’s and surgeon’s preferences.

How is the procedure going to be like?

Ask your healthcare professional to fully explain answers to questions about your surgery. And if you don’t understand an explanation or any medical words, ask for clarification. Some of the questions are:

  • What is the surgery being recommended
  • why is the procedure needed
  • are there any alternatives of the procedure
  • What are the benefits of the procedure
  • how long will it last
  • are there any risks and complications available
  • what is the recovery time are some of the questions a patient must ask the
    surgeon before the procedure.

Insurance and cost-related queries


Determining the cost is one of the most important things to consider before undergoing surgery. You need to talk to your doctor and go forward with the procedure. The next step is to connect with the hospital’s insurance department and get an estimate for the procedure. The estimate generally covers,

  • Fees of the surgeon
  • Charges for the surgery
  • Hospitalization charges.
  • Surgery Consumables

Talk to the hospital and understand what charges will the insurance cover. Know what you need to give from your pocket. Again, feel free to ask questions to the person in charge and get all your doubts cleared beforehand. Once you get the estimate, the hospital connects with your insurance agency to pass the pre-approval for the procedure to get you admitted.


In most cases, the cost of hospitalization and surgery doesn’t exceed the estimate, unless there is any extra emergency procedure done on the table. Furthermore, it is important that you are well-informed by the hospital’s administrative department about any packages of the government for certain surgical procedures as this can help lower the cost.

Also, check for EMI options in case of direct payment.

Points to consider days before surgery

  1. Follow the pre-surgery and nutrition guidelines: You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight, the night before your surgery. This is because it’s incredibly rare for food or fluids from your stomach to reach your lungs while you’re sedated or under general anesthetic. Consult your physician anesthesiologist for more information.
  2. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate discomfort after surgery: Doctors have long emphasized the importance of sleep for optimal health and how a chronic lack of sleep can result in a variety of health issues. Sleep and pain have a reciprocal relationship, with pre and postoperative sleep disruptions worsening pain and predicting the start of long-term postoperative pain.
  3. Ask any questions to the nurse about the procedure, or the doctor: You must take charge of your health in order to be your best self. Having deliberate and informative interactions with your healthcare professional is a part of that process.
  4. Put your comfort clothes on: Clothing that is loose-fitting should be worn. Following surgery, your wounds may be wrapped in large bandages, and your body may be sore or bloated. Valuables and jewelry should be left at home.

Thus, this answers the question – How to prepare for surgery from a patient’s point of view.
We know that thinking about all these pointers as well as the surgery can be overwhelming, but it is equally important that you and your loved ones are aware of all these before surgery tips.

Useful links

Second Opinion – A Second Chance to Better Treatment

We at Medfin , the Surgery expert team offers you access to latest and advanced treatment for elective surgeries at most affordable costs. Our Personal Medfin assistants answer all your concerns related to surgyer and ensure that your needs are met in your entire medical journey.

To consult an expert Medfin surgeon near you, please call us on 7026200200. You can also WhatsApp us on 9986828963 (click here to initiate a whatsapp chat).

Author: Dr. Prachi Motwani Dr Prachi is a Digital Marketer, Content Writer, and Dentist working in the Healthcare industry for ~5 years. She is also an avid reader and a Part-time Painter.

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