Outpatient surgery  is a term used to describe procedures that don’t require the patient to stay in the hospital. In the vast majority of cases, patients can undergo surgery and then return home. Although outpatient surgery tends to be less complex or risky than inpatient procedures, it is important for patients to be prepared. This useful guide to outpatient surgery preparation will provides tips and advice enabling patients to ensure they are ready for their procedure.

Having surgery is not something a majority of patients do on a regular basis, and it can be daunting. To help the procedure run as smoothly as possible and facilitate a calm and stress-free environment, here are 10 tips for effective outpatient surgery preparation.

Outpatient Surgery Preparation Tips

1. Ask questions

It’s understandable for patients to have questions about surgical procedures. They will want to know why the procedure is necessary, what it entails, and what they can expect afterwards. Asking questions is a means of gathering information, which can help patients feel confident and at ease. When talking about an upcoming procedure during a consultation, a patient may have a list of questions, which they subsequently forget. To provide a solution, healthcare providers can offer brochures, informational packets, or even a digital version of the content. Encourage patients to write questions down for the next appointment and provide advice online. It’s very beneficial for patients to go into surgery knowing exactly what to expect and understanding why they need the procedure in the first place.

2. Prepare logistics ahead of time

Before surgery, a patient may be anxious and on edge, and after the procedure, they should take time to rest and recover. Patients should be advised to arrange a ride to and from the hospital. In most cases, patients should not drive after surgery dues to medication and/or physical impairments. They should be encouraged to have a friend or family member with them if they feel nervous or worried. Taking care of practicalities can help reduce stress and make patients feel more comfortable.

3. Prioritizing health

When undergoing surgery, patients should be in good health. Healthcare providers should encourage their patients to take good care of themselves in the run-up to an operation, providing advice and information about diet and nutrition, rest and sleep, and the benefits of regular exercise.

4. Listen to and follow instructions

Before any surgical procedure, a doctor or healthcare provider will issue patients with instructions that they will need to follow on the day of the procedure or in the days leading up to surgery. The AC Health app is an interactive engagement platform, which provides healthcare providers with the opportunity to create and share personalized instructions and guidelines. Patients can download the app and access information on the go with minimal effort. When discussing surgery, it’s very easy to forget the details. The AC Health app ensures that this is not a problem. With the app, patients have a record of all the instructions they need to ensure that they prepare properly.

5. Pack a bag

Most patients who go into hospital for an outpatient procedure will be able to go home shortly after surgery, but there is always a risk of complications or unexpected delays. It’s wise for patients to pack a bag of essentials just in case they end up staying a little longer than planned.

6. Eating and drinking

If a patient is due to undergo surgery, they should be aware of instructions related to eating and drinking and also be informed about the potential implications of ignoring this advice. If a patient isn’t aware that they need to abstain from eating or drinking for a period of time, this could result in delays. Patients are scared and fearful. Remove their fear of forgetting their instructions by creating simple and short video reminders that the can access in one click on their phone, as they can in the AC Health app.

7. Medication

Some patients may be advised to take medication prior to a surgical procedure. If this is the case, the information should be reiterated, again, before the surgery. Patients should also be asked about any specific allergies or adverse reactions to drugs they have taken in the past during the pre-operative assessment. Patients should also be made aware of the need to stop taking certain types of medication before surgery. If a patient is on medication, which needs to be stopped temporarily, clear instructions should be provided.

8. Washing and hygiene

Most people like to feel clean and fresh before they go into hospital, so it’s a good idea to encourage patients to have a bath or shower before their procedure. Additional considerations for healthcare providers include asking patients to remove piercings and nail polish before arriving at the hospital.

9. Contacting friends and family

Patients who are set to undergo surgery can benefit from having a support network in place. It’s advisable for patients to inform close friends or family members about the procedure so that they have people there to help out when they get home. It’s also advantageous to speak to employers about taking time off work if this is applicable.

10. Tackling anxiety and easing worries

It’s natural for patients to be apprehensive and anxious about having a surgical procedure. Being prepared can help to ease concerns, but it’s also important for healthcare providers to be compassionate and to take steps to help patients feel relaxed. Patients should feel able to speak up about any worries they have, to ask questions, and to voice concerns.

Outpatient surgery preparation is required for the seamless undertaking of surgical procedures, but it’s also important for patient wellbeing. Patients don’t want to go into an operation feeling anxious and not really understanding what is going on or what they can expect when the procedure is complete. Using the AC Health app, healthcare professionals and providers can put patients’ minds at ease, providing accessible, tailored advice and personalized instructions. Patients have access to support, they can open and read notes wherever and whenever they want, and they can engage with their doctor. It’s crucial for patients to be prepared for surgery to ensure that everything runs smoothly and maximize the chances of rapid recovery, and using the AC Health app is a simple means of promoting optimal outpatient surgery preparation.