I have the honor of presenting to you today, Sally Georgina Cronin one of my blogging friends. Sally has a passion to help people take control of their health and is an established author. She has kindly written a guest post for us that will help those who in the future may face surgery. Make sure you connect with her and see why I am thrilled to share her insight with you today.
Despite the best efforts of our health services, it is still likely that you will be added to a waiting list for a non-urgent procedure. For most of us this can be a worrying time and the longer you have to wait the more stressful it can become. However, you could look at this period as a positive opportunity, to not only improve your general health, but also reduce the small but nevertheless normal risks of both anaesthesia and post-operative infection.
There are three areas that you can focus on for the weeks or even months before your operation and it is as easy as changing foods in your diet and improving some of your lifestyle choices. To reduce risks under anaesthetic it is certainly important to give up smoking immediately. You should also reduce your alcohol intake and in the two weeks prior to the operation you should stop drinking alcohol completely.
The nearer you are to your optimum weight the less risk there will be from anaesthesia. There are some practical issues to address. You are going to require more anaesthesia the heavier that you are and this can affect your recovery immediately following the procedure. If you are very overweight and going to be on your back on the operating table for some hours, the pressure of fat in the chest area will compromise your breathing. The need for intubation is dramatically increased for obese patients as is the pre-operative work up, which has to include far more tests than those undertaken for less overweight patients.
If you are scheduled for joint replacement, particularly hip or knee joints, losing weight ahead of your operation will improve your recovery time. For many patients it is the additional stress on the joints from being overweight which has caused the wear and tear in the first place.
BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
In the last two or three years there has been a steady decline in recorded numbers of MRSA and other post-operative infections. In many cases the patients concerned have been high risk having suffered long term ill health, being elderly and malnourished, or very young. If you have a number of weeks’ notice before a stay in hospital then you can take steps to boost your immune system giving your body every chance to make a speedy recovery but also to avoid contracting an infection. The body requires a very broad spectrum of nutrients to fuel the thousands of chemical reactions going on in the body at any moment in time and there is a specific range of nutrients that are essential for a healthy immune system. By eating plenty of fresh colourful vegetables and low sugar fruits combined with lean protein, you can obtain many of the anti-oxidants necessary to boost your defence system.
REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL
Modern anaesthesia practices are very sophisticated and if a patient has high blood pressure it will be monitored throughout the operation to ensure the safety of the patient. There are millions of middle aged patients who are currently on blood pressure medication and you should always continue taking that medication right up to the time of the operation and you will be advised of any changes to the dosage when you are admitted to your ward.
Having said that one of the desirable side effects of losing weight before your surgery will be a probable reduction in your blood pressure. The more stable and nearer to normal levels that your blood pressure is, the less risk of complications during and after the procedure. You are also likely to be taking pain medication following your operation and there are always drug interactions to be considered. You must however, not take yourself off any medication without the support and advice of your doctor and you can discuss this with him after losing weight and improving other lifestyle related risk factors affecting your BP.
DIET CONSIDERATION TO REDUCE BLOOD PRESSSURE
Prepare your own foods from scratch and put a level teaspoon of salt in a small dish and this is your allowance per day for the cooking process and the additional seasoning of your meals. Avoid eating packaged and canned foods as these can add several teaspoons of both salt and sugar into your diet.
Usually patients who are suffering from high blood pressure have also elevated cholesterol levels. Reducing your cholesterol to as normal levels as possible will have a knock on effect on your BP. The ‘cook from scratch’ approach to your diet with fresh produce will also help reduce the low density lipoprotein which is the more harmful form of cholesterol.
It is likely that you may not be physically able to exercise regularly during the weeks leading up to your operation but there are armchair exercises and also breathing exercises that can help you lose weight and maintain a moderate level of fitness. If you are already walking or swimming and you find that it is still comfortable to continue then do so as this will also help your respiratory recovery.
Always take the advice of your medical practitioner about exercise and specific dietary requirements that will aid your recuperation after your operation.
About Sally Cronin
Sally Georgina Cronin’s passions run very deep. Particularly in relation to healthy eating and the amazing way the body converts lovely fresh produce into fuel and protective chemicals that keep us fit and alive. Having weighed 330 lbs. (150 kilos) at age 42 and been told that getting to 45 was a bit of a stretch, she was highly motivated to make a difference. This she did, by studying nutrition and the human body, so that she could sort out her own issues and help others to also get motivated.
That was twenty years ago: and in that time Sally has been communicating her particular brand of no-nonsense approach to health and diet in books, columns, articles and through her popular radio shows. She has worked with clients at her diet advisory centre in Ireland and also at a number of clinics in the UK. She not only worked with those needing to achieve a healthier weight but those already suffering from lifestyle related diseases and infertility.
Sally’s first book Size Matters was a record of her personal journey as she lost the original 154lbs and the programme that she developed for herself and her clients to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
This was followed by Just Food for Health, a comprehensive guide to family nutrition and health. Just and Odd Job Girl, a novel about a new start in life, Media Training: The Manual, a concise instruction manual on how to work with the media. Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story: a tribute to a beloved friend, Forget the Viagra… Pass me a Carrot: A Men’s health workshop manual, Turning Back the Clock: Anti-ageing. How to look and feel 10 years younger and Flights of Fancy: short stories and a novella. The Sewing Circle.
Sally’s daily health and writing blog makes sure that she keeps motivated and delivering her message.
All her books are available on Amazon Author pages
UK : Amazon-https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks
Connect to Sally