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Prepare Your Body for Surgery

Six things to do before you go under the knife

If you have scheduled surgery, take these actions to increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Give bad habits a break. Cut out alcohol and use this time to quit smoking, both of which can interact negatively with anesthesia. If you use illegal drugs, stop.

Talk to your doctor about vitamins and supplements. Some vitamins and supplements can interact with other medications, particularly anticoagulants. Be sure to let your doctor know if you are taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs or herbs such as St. John’s Wort.

Eat clean. Avoid processed foods and red meat. Include more fruits and vegetables. Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals help lower inflammation.

Exercise. The better shape you’re in before surgery, the easier it will be to get back on your feet post-op. You don’t need to train for a marathon. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the door at the mall. Get in 10,000 steps a day.

Have a pre-op meeting with your primary care physician. Let him know you’re having surgery. He will monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar levels and may want to adjust any medications you are taking.

Lean on your spirituality. Meditate, pray or chant—do whatever prepares your body mentally for the trauma of surgery.

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