Prior to surgery, patients must prepare, both physically and psychologically, through a process called preoperative care.
Patients that are prepare for their surgery, both physically and psychologically, tend to have a better surgical outcome. Through proper communication from the health team, the patient will have a fuller understanding of the procedure and be more prepared for it. This is crucial for any invasive procedure, both minor or major.
This may consist of a complete medical and physical examination, including their anesthesia background. Detailed information about adverse reactions to anesthesia, medications currently being taken, allergies (such as latex) and much more must all be discussed. Evaluation tests / blood work is also integral to the preparatory process. For certain surgeries, bowel clearance and night before skin preparation may also need to be conducted.
While a focus tends to be more on the physical, the psychological preparation helps both the patient and their family prepare for the surgery and to understand the possible outcomes. Also allowing the patient to vocalize fears or emotions is also very important.
This process is customized for each patient and focuses on the important information that a patient must learn, which can help to eliminate most fears. The main factors to focus on are detailed information about the preoperative period, the details of the actual surgery, and the postoperative period. Having all of the information can help set the patient up for success.
This vital portion of the process is also the most important. After a physician has explained all of the benefits and risks for the surgery, written consent must be given by the patient or a guardian. Ensuring the patient has the necessary information to make an informed consent decision is important.
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