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WHAT I DO BEFORE MY OWN SURGERY

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I’m having surgery. Now I’m nesting and thought you might like to know how a surgeon nests before her own operation.

I get really clean. Okay, I’m clean, but I get super clean.

Bathe with Hibiclens soap the night before and the morning of surgery. Don’t forget to clean out your belly button if you’re having abdominal surgery.

If I’m having anything other than an operation on my innards–in which case I follow my surgeon’s instructions–I make sure my bowels are moving before and after surgery. If I have a prescription for narcotic pain pills, I’ll be especially diligent in this regard. I’ll start taking a stool softener (docusate sodium) the day I get home, and continue until I’m sure everything’s back to normal. Any natural stool softener or laxative works too. Bad constipation is painful at minimum, but can also end up with you in the ER, having someone else help you out with a gloved finger. And after that humiliation, you will never let this happen again.

If you’re going to have surgery on your hands or feet, get rid of thick calluses and hangnails. They hold bacteria. Yes, we’re going to prep your skin with some hardcore, anti-bacterial soap, but those thick, cracked calluses hold onto dead skin cells, oil, dirt and nastiness. Get ‘em knocked down. Cut your nails. Give yourself my “poor man’s manicure.” Pour a little olive oil in your palm. Add a teaspoon of sugar and massage it into your skin and all around your nails. Even better… Go get a professional manicure or a pedicure.

Set yourself up for post-operative success. If you’re going to need ice, get a cooler full. Make up some bags of ice ahead of time. If you don’t have much help, get plenty of frozen dinners and bottled drinks.

And call your mommy!

 

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Dr. Barbara Bergin is a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon who has been taking care of the bones and joints of Austin, Texas, for over 30 years. She prefers prevention to treatment and takes a natural approach to both when possible. By informing her readers and patients through 1010ParkPlace and her blog, drbarbarabergin.com, she wants to prevent 100,000 injuries before she retires.

4 thoughts on “WHAT I DO BEFORE MY OWN SURGERY”

  1. Really great advice… of course! Thank you for the inside scoop on something I’ve never heard discussed before. I hope your surgery went perfectly and you are feeling great as quickly as possible!

  2. thank you Dr. Barbara for great information!
    Happy you are rapidly recovering and hopefully resting like you would advise us to do.

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