You may be able to prevent problems after
surgery by taking steps beforehand to improve your health.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
Complications involving the lungs are
more likely to occur in people who smoke. Infections are more common in people who use
tobacco products, because of reduced blood flow and from having more
mucus stuck in the airways. For more information, see
- Maintain a healthy body
weight. Problems with increased abdominal pressure, complications involving the
lungs, and infection occur more often in people who are overweight. For
more information, see the topic
- Practice deep
breathing exercises before surgery.
- If possible, be active before
your surgery to increase your fitness level. For more information, see the
- Eat a balanced diet. Make an
appointment with a dietitian if you need help with menu planning. For more
information, see the topic
Be sure to follow all of your surgeon's instructions after
surgery to prevent problems. You may be instructed to:
- Drink plenty of fluids. This can help prevent
problems such as
dehydration and constipation.
- Sit up,
cough, and breathe deeply to expand your lungs and help prevent breathing
problems, such as
- Walk as soon and as often as
your surgeon recommends. Early activity helps prevent complications. Ask your
surgeon how soon you can expect to get out of bed, sit in a chair, and walk.
Walking increases circulation to your legs and helps prevent problems, such as
blood clots. Walking also helps prevent constipation.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
November 13, 2012
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