Undergoing a surgical intervention is a major decision in every one's life. It could be some one's first time or for some people they may have undergone the knife several times. Depending on your personality, previous experience and the nature of planned intervention, the emotions may wary from fear to sadness to indifference. No matter what your state is, it is important that certain logical steps are followed in order to ensure success in this vital event.


Step I: Be sure that it is necessary.


Some surgical procedures are always necessary, while others may not be. The decision to have surgery must be well thought out by you and your Treating physician. Make sure that you understand the potential risks and benefits of any procedure. Many a times, second opinion can help you better understand your options and you should never hesitate to ask for another opinion, even if you are convinced by what your primary treating physician has to say about the procedure and that you plan on returning to your current doctor for getting the procedure done.


Step II:  Find the Right Surgeon-


            The next step after you are convinced that surgery is necessary is to find the right surgeon who can perform the procedure competently. Finding someone you can trust is of utmost importance. You should find a surgeon who is competent, has a good record of performing the procedure you are having done, and is someone who you enjoy working with and trust. There are steps you can take, and questions you can ask to determine if a doctor would be good for you. The most important resource that can help you determines that the surgeon is right for you are his previous patients. They can provide a good feedback on the quality of care, competency of surgeon and infrastructure of the hospital he is currently working in. Web searches, academic circles and your primary physicians may also provide valuable insights.


Step III: Understand the Surgical Procedure –


            Most people think that it is obvious, but you should understand what is being done, how it should benefit you, what the potential risks are, and how you can help improve your outcome. Your surgeon is going to give you a fair amount of information regarding the same, also the informed consent that you sign for the surgery contains most of the information. It is still advisable to read about the procedure and internet can prove to be a valuable asset.


Step IV: Preparing for the surgery –


            You wouldn't think of running a marathon without going into training beforehand. Not only would you exercise to improve your physical endurance and strength, but you also would prepare psychologically for the grueling test ahead. In its own way, joint replacement surgery is no less challenging for your body and mind. To go the distance successfully, you need to be ready mentally as well as physically. Studies have demonstrated that various traits of individuals undergoing surgery have a significant impact on recovery from an operation. People who have good exercise and nutritional habits, Use mental relaxtion techniques and those who do not smoke, tend to have a faster recovery from surgery. If you know you are going to be having surgery in the future, try the following:


  • Stop smoking


  • Eat well.


  • Be fit.


  • Breathing exercises— Use awareness and conscious control over breathing to bring about relaxation.
  • Meditation— Relax the body and calming the mind by focusing on a repeated word or sound.                                                                                                                 
  • Music therapy— Use music in a prescribed way to foster relaxation or distract yourself from pain.


Finally most hospitals realize that hospital visits for most patients are a dreadful experience, and it is often the fear of unknown that makes them anxious and often despise their hospital visit. They therefore encourages you to roam around, visit their wards, meet their  nursing staff and interact with their patients, so that the next time you visit a hospital, it is a different confident, smiling you!