Surgery Prep and Recovery: What to Expect – HealFast

Surgery Prep and Recovery: What to Expect

Doctor discussing results to patient

Looking for surgery prep advice? Have an upcoming surgery planned and were hoping to find surgery preparation and recovery information, well then you are in the right place? HealFast specializes in surgery practices and recovery and below we’ve compiled some relevant info to keep in mind as you prepare for your upcoming surgery date. Best wishes and enjoy!

Some general things to keep in mind as you prepare for an upcoming surgery.

Firstly - you should expect to meet with your Primary Care Physician (“PCP”) within 2 weeks of surgery. Any patient with potential diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions should probably see their physician at least 3 weeks ahead of time to allow for other factors and monitoring. This will help optimize your medical conditions and medications before your surgery and also help consolidate information that must be submitted to the hospital to coordinate clearances.

During this meeting, it is good to ask as many questions as needed to get comfortable. Here is a good article from John Hopkins Medicine with some questions to get you started during your surgery consultation.

Next - you will have one or more calls with the Anesthesiologist a week before and then a day or so before the surgery. There are additional calls that week to verify and register any additional insurance needs for the surgery and to confirm last-minute details such as medications taken. At this time, depending on your hospital, you may be able to register for additional equipment to aid your post-surgery recovery such as a cold therapy unit. Some hospitals outsource this equipment rental to 3rd party providers and can cost upwards and around $200-3002. In general, you must ice the surgery site after surgery but how you do it is up to you. We highly advise that icing along with proper surgery recovery nutrition programs be considered.

Lastly, it is paramount that you optimize pre-surgery nutrition to ensure your body is replete with key ingredients for surgery and wound recovery.

“It's a little-appreciated fact that up to 50% of patients are malnourished when they're admitted to the hospital, yet according to a Johns Hopkins study, only about 20% of patients receive a nutritional consult. Another surprising fact: Malnutrition increases the risk of death after surgery, significantly raises the risk of postoperative complications, and is a chief reason why patients are readmitted to the hospital3”

How common is nutritional defficiency

Since “Patients undergoing surgery face many metabolic and physiological challenges that may compromise nutritional status.4” There are over 20 key nutrients that should be taken prior to surgery to ensure the the body is primed with the raw ingredients needed to commence the healing process from an optimal position. If you are in a rush and want an all-in-one optimized and surgery-safe formula, check out the HealFast Surgery and Injury Recovery Program, it is divided into both Pre-Surgery and Post-Surgery Formulas and is anesthesiologist formulated and physician approved for surgery (review the science here).

Surgery Preparation: Gameday

During the pre-surgery preparation call with the Anesthesiologist, you will undoubtedly be told some of the following points to prepare for on “game day”. These items are relatively easy to comply with and are meant to ensure your safety and promote an optimized surgery recovery. In general, you will be meeting with the Anesthesiologist right before the surgery for a preliminary check.

Most patients will be advised to refrain from taking the following medications prior to surgery: Aspirin, Plavix, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Naprosyn, Mobic, Celebrex, general multivitamins, some high dosage single vitamins, especially Vitamin E.

Besides telling the anesthesiologist what medicines you are taking (so they can best prepare the anesthesia), you should also speak with your medication prescriber to determine which medications must be stopped prior to surgery. For example, sometimes NSAIDs are allowed to be taken for pain and swelling post-surgery, but this depends on the type of specific surgery and operating room circumstances. Ensure your medications list is up to date with the dosage details and how often you take them and keep this on hand the day of the surgery just in case. Don’t bring the physical medications unless asked.

Lastly, depending on the type of surgery you are undertaking and the hospital, they may ask that you bring in the MRI/XRAY materials that you have in your possession (for example, ACL or other orthopedic surgeries). Remember to make any and all arrangements to have the film/disks returned to you after surgery, ahead of time.

Post-Surgery Recovery: What to consider

First up, surgery dress wear. While this could have been included in the last section, we wanted to include it here so that the advice can be considered in a post-surgery context.

While it depends on the nature of the surgery, obviously, it is generally advised to wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing knowing you may be heavily bandaged at discharge. For example, during certain surgeries (such as shoulder surgery) female patients might want to consider wearing a halter bra or even a medical or surgical bra to assist recovery after surgery. You will be restricted in your movements and even the effort needed to get in or out of your clothing may lead to an uncomfortable and potentially painful experience.

Last up on the surgery attire topic, all body metals and piercings5 should be removed before arrival, including items far away from the surgery site. Things need to be kept sterile and depending on the type of equipment, surgery type (it can get in the way), and other factors; it’s best to take them out and leave at home to avoid the troubles of labeling and collecting them later on. For more information on why you should remove jewelry for surgery, check out the Healfast Surgery Preparation - Remove the Jewelry post.

Now, that you have completed surgery, here is what actions you can expect to be taken.

  1. Obtain a checklist of surgery recovery instructions for your surgery type from the surgeon and PCP.

  2. Obtain a pain medication prescription and ensuring to take as directed and as needed for pain. Remember to always eat before or with use.

  3. Stock up ahead of time on the following items: large waterproof bandages, saran wrap, garbage bags, ice packs, and recovery nutrition items.

Follow the doctor’s instructions when carefully checking the injury site and when removing bandages. Check for any infection, drainage and other unwanted side effects, always are careful to not endanger the stitches. To be thorough, some unwanted side effects include Fever of 100.5F or higher, progressively increasing pain, excessive bleeding, nausea, or vomiting, among others.

Use lots of icing for the surgery area to reduce swelling. Those garbage bags and pillowcases can help provide protection between the ice packs and the skin. Conduct slight exercises as instructed to maintain blood flow but refrain from anything that gives you pain.

And lastly, but of critical importance, optimize post-surgery recovery nutrition to ensure a strong and complete recovery. At HealFast, we really want to educate the population on the importance of surgery and injury recovery nutrition. The John’s Hopkins Study cited above, shows that malnutrition increases the risk of death after surgery, and “significantly raises the risk of postoperative complications, and is a chief reason why patients are readmitted to the hospital3” but many doctors are not provided enough nutritional training in medical school to push the knowledge onto surgery patients.

Remember, most surgery complications are avoidable and costly; so it is very important to optimize both Pre-Op and Post-Op Surgery nutrition. As mentioned earlier, we recommend an all-in-one product optimized for surgery and safety such as the HealFast Surgery and Injury Recovery Formula.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful and insightful. If you are going in for surgery, we wish you well and hope these tips will get you prepared for this important event. If you have any specific questions feel free to drop us a comment below or email us as








General Disclaimer: All information here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to cure, heal, diagnose nor treat. This information must not be used as a replacement for medical advice, nor can the writer take any responsibility for anyone using the information instead of consulting a healthcare professional. All serious disease needs a physician.