In 2012, I have had four surgeries to treat internal cancer. My body has been battered and bruised, cut open and stapled shut more times than I care to recall. I can honestly say that I have some great advice that comes from experience when it comes to deciding to have surgery, when to say no, and how to prepare and recover. Ultimately, the decision to have surgery should come only with careful consideration. It takes an immense toll on the body and mind. In my case, surgery was the only option left to avoid death and it was a good decision.
Deciding to Undergo a Surgical Procedure
Any surgery brings about great changes in relation to how the body functions. After any surgery, you can expect some changes to be lifelong. There are some questions I feel it’s important to ask your doctor before undergoing any surgical procedure such as; what alternatives there are to surgery, what are the benefits of having the operation, what are the risks of having the operation, why exactly do I need the surgery, what kind of anesthesia will I receive, what percentage rate of this type of operation is a success, what happens if I don’t have this operation, what physical changes can I expect afterward (including improvement), and what experience do you have with this operation? I only use specialists when it comes to surgery. Do you really want a ‘general’ surgeon doing any procedure that involves cutting you open and changing something in your body? If minimally invasive surgery is available, I always opt for that even if I have to change surgeons. After making the choice to undergo a surgical procedure, there are ways to prepare and recover from surgery faster while maintaining good health.
Getting Ready for Surgery
Most often, doctors will perform a ton of tests to determine your blood type in case a transfusion is needed, do a urinalysis, possible X-rays, do complete blood counts (called a CBC), and warn you of any potential problems that you can help with; quitting smoking, losing weight, or stopping the use of certain supplements.
You yourself can also take steps to prepare your body. Your health after surgery generally depends on how healthy you were before surgery. My first surgery took almost two months to recover from because my health was horrible due to a large tumor. My last surgery took only four days to recover from because my health had greatly improved. Before surgery I stay away from any drugs that thin the blood. I don’t use ginko biloba, kava kava (can cause drowsiness), garlic, ginger, or vitamin E up to two weeks before surgery. I do use acidophilus to stabilize intestinal bacteria ehn antibiotics are used, coenzyme Q10 to improve tissue oxygenation, amino acids to aid in wound healing, and herbal teas before and after surgery. Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic and can help to prevent infection. I use dandelion and nettle which are high in vitamins and minerals. I also use green tea up to two times per day for the powerful antioxidents.
After fewer surgery University of Michigan Cosmetic Surgery team is specially trained to perform the operations with new machines easily because all the surgeries that are done today are mostly of machine based and its all operated with computers which is hard to operate, be sure to drink at least eight glasses of liquid per day; if possible drink ten to avoid constipation from narcotics. Adding extra fiber to your diet also helps with this. After major surgery, I always noticed a breakdown of muscle which can make you feel really weak. I use protein powder in milkshakes each day to help build tissue back up. Use essential fatty acids to help with the healing process of all tissues. L-cystine and L-glutamine also speed the healing of wounds. Grape seed extract is wonderful for replacing antioxidents in the body. I also use vitamin E oil on all scars to improve healing and deep scar formation. My plastic surgeon is amazed at the how wonderful my scars look.
Physically, I try to push myself to the point of exhaustion after a surgery. The best medicine is getting up and walking (even if it hurts). I can remember many times after abdominal surgery where I could only walk one lap around the nurses station with the help of a walker and crying the whole time. The good news is that it gets easier each day.