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What to Prepare for When a Relative is About to Undergo Surgery

When a loved one is about to undergo major surgery, emotions are running high. Not only are you worried about the outcome, but there are probably a million “what ifs” and things to do. And since you have enough on your plate, we’ve put together the top things to prepare when a relative is about to undergo surgery.

Make your way through this list, and you should have some peace of mind leading up to the event. At least, you’ll all be entering the surgery prepared. 

Here are some of the most important things you can do to prepare for your relative’s surgery. 

Understand the procedure

Understand the procedure
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If possible, talk to the doctor about the procedure, so you can get any questions answered before the big day. In most cases, you’ll need permission from your relative, but this is the best way to get accurate information, so it’s worth asking.

If talking to the doctor isn’t an option or if you need more information than you’re getting, research the procedure online to find out about potential risks and outcomes. You may be able to find real experiences to help set your mind at ease.

And at the very least, you’ll want to know how long your loved one is staying and whether they’ll need transportation home. 

Organize their medical history

If you’re in charge of making sure everything goes smoothly, help your loved one by organizing their medical history and be sure it’s stored in an easily accessible form. Keep a chart of all diagnoses, treatments, and medications. If your relative is visiting a new doctor, you may want to summarize some of the most important information in an easy-to-reference document. Any healthcare provider should have access to your relative’s entire medical history, but having a “cheat sheet” of important information may help too. For example, if there are any allergies or if prescription drug addiction is an issue, the doctor must know this to avoid prescribing anything that could be an issue. 

It’s always better to be over-prepared than underprepared. 

Get a copy of pre- and post-surgery instructions

Doctor instructions
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To help your relative prepare for surgery, make sure you know exactly what the doctor ordered. If they aren’t supposed to eat beforehand, be sure it happens. The pre-surgery instructions are meant to help avoid any potential complications that may arise. So if you find out that your relative broke the rules, be sure they mention it to the doctor to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. 

Help them get affairs in order

Depending on the surgery and recovery time, they may need to plan for things to be handled while they’re getting better. This may include time off work, making sure bills are paid, checking mail, and more. If you’d like to be helpful, you can offer to handle some of this for your loved one. 

And if the surgery is particularly risky, you may want to help your relative get his or her will updated. No one wants to prepare for the worst, but again, it’s better to be over-prepared. 

At the very least, it’s one thing they can check off their list for later. 

No one likes to have surgery or think of their loved ones going under the knife, but it’s a must at times. And when your relative is about to undergo surgery, you may feel a bit powerless to control the outcome. But there are a few things you can do to help the process go as seamlessly as possible. And the first step may be talking to your relative about how you can help. 

Featured Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay