Surgery preparation

How To Prepare For Surgery And Improve Recovery

Are you wondering how to prepare for surgery and improve your recovery? If you are considering surgery, this is a great blog to read. It’s not good enough to hope for the best prior to considering a surgery or having one scheduled already.

Of course, we all want the best possible outcome. Maybe you are hoping for the best during the surgical event. It’s just not enough, if you want to have a better overall recovery. If you are seeking out a program to inform, empower, and support you through this process Wedell Home Therapy has the solution.

Pre-surgical health

Wedell Home Therapy offers pre-surgical conditioning or prehabilitation. Occupational therapists provide direction and help clients reach the best possible outcomes prior to surgery.  As a result, recovery after surgery is most often easier and faster for the patient.

Considerations for Pre-surgical Conditioning 

First, education with instruction and case management with the MD are provided as an empowering and motivational approach. Second, general conditioning training, lifestyle modifications, immune support, and dietary modifications are recommended based on the individual.

Third, stress reduction, improved rest schedules, spiritual enhancement, family/care giver education and support, and medical equipment planning for the recovery stage are all part of a total healthcare approach.

Preparing for Surgery – Think Like An Athlete


Many people do not think about prehabilitation before surgery but athletes do. For example, many athletes seek pre-surgical conditioning for sports injuries so they can perform at the same level or even better after surgery. Their daily conditioning and level of health prior to the surgery place them in an advantage to shorten hospitalizations. Low infection occurrences are often noted with athletes. Athletes shorten recovery and rehab program times when participating in pre-surgical conditioning. 

Despite modern medical advancements and improved surgical out comes preparing for surgical intervention requires information. Sound decisions are made best with guidance and support. By seeking out a pre-surgical evaluation your concerns are addressed through experienced and insightful healers. Occupational Therapists and healers of the rehabilitation industry are experienced in supporting recovery, healing, and rehabilitation. Goals are set with clients to maximize their individual needs. Rehabilitation programs at home support optimal biological, physiological and functional outcomes.

Better Surgical Outcomes with Prehabilitation

One can optimize their surgical outcomes by applying the practices noted above. However, pre-surgical conditioning can be as simple as daily walks with incremental advancements in duration and distances supporting:

  1. Weight Loss
  2. Strengthening Cardio
  3. Strengthening Pulmonary Function
  4. Vascular Dilation To Improve Blood Flow
weight training

A more aggressive approach can include weight resistance training for selected muscle groups in addition to the basic exercises. Lifestyle modification coaching can support weight loss, sufficient rest, dietary modifications, immune support, stress reduction and phycological support.

Immune support can focus on removing allergens. In addition, supplements and dietary changes to support or enhance your immune system can help normalize your lab values. Dietary changes can point the obvious don’ts and reinforce more positive selection. Based on your health and blood labs, there may be must haves for your particular concern such as cholesterol and triglyceride reduction. Dietary modifications and immune support can reduce infection rates and speed up the healing process. These important changes can help you avoid more serious or secondary infections.

Stress reduction directly effects ones homeostasis. Reducing stress allows the body to seek its optimal state. Less stress can mean deeper sleep, normalization of hormones and a more balance mind. Spiritual enhancement is encouraged to fulfill ones sense of being and calm the inner sole. Each component of the process supports the final goal of optimizing the surgical outcomes.  The end goal is from better survival and low infection rates to quicker hospital discharges and faster return to independent function in your daily tasks.

Contact the Occupational Therapists at Wedell Home Therapy for more information.

Written by Mark Wedell, BS OTR/L


-International Anesthesiol Clinical 2017 fall 55(1;12-20) preparing the patient for enhanced recovery after surgery, Christopher Jankowski, MD

-The effectiveness of prehabilitation or preoperative exercise for surgical patients: a systematic review. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2015 Jan;13(1):146-87. doi: 10.11124/jbisrir-2015-1885. Cabilan CJ1, Hines S, Munday J.

-A Guide to Implementing Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Protocols: Creating, Scaling, and Managing a Perioperative Consult Service.

Cummings JJ1, Ehrenfeld JM, McEvoy MD.Int Anesthesiol Clin. 2017 Fall;55(4):101-115. doi: 10.1097/AIA.0000000000000163.

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