Reducing Stress Before Breast Reconstruction
By: Courtney Floyd
Before most breast reconstruction surgery, patients experience some level of excitement and nervousness. This is normal! After all, your life and body are about to change forever!
Eliminating stress before surgery can help ensure a positive mindset and ease the recovery process. Here is a list of ideas to comfort your nerves before the big day:
1) Get answers to your questions. One of the greatest causes of pre-surgery anxiety is fear. As your surgery date gets closer, you may begin to have questions regarding your surgery, recovery, and expected outcomes. When questions arise, write them down so you do not forget them. Contact your doctor’s office to get answers to your questions from trained nurses and physicians who are familiar with you as an individual. Seeking answers via Google or other internet sources can become overwhelming and lead to further confusion and anxiety. Your surgeon will answer any questions to help eliminate pre-surgery fears.
2) Prepare your nest. It is important to ensure you have everything you needed for post-operative care. Pick up your prescriptions from the pharmacy and place them in an easily accessible place (on your night stand or next to your bathroom sink). You may also want to have disposable plates, utensils and bottled water handy to eliminate the extra work of dishes for yourself or your care taker. If you plan to have drains after surgery, have a measuring cup stationed nearby. This will ease emptying and tracking your drain output.
3) Have a support team lined up. Most women are very independent and focus most of their energy on others’ needs. You will not be able to do everything for yourself after surgery; it is important to have someone with you for the first couple of weeks. You will need to rest and recover properly without exerting yourself.
4) Pamper yourself. If you can, take some time for yourself in the days before your surgery. A pedicure, a massage, or even a night out to a movie are all great ways to relax and take your mind off of your anxieties.
Breast reconstruction is a life changing experience and should be approached with a positive and relaxed frame of mind. By preparing yourself, your home, and your support team, you can ensure a steady recovery.