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 Reference mucus Opens New Window stuck in the airways. For more information, see the topic Reference Quitting Smoking.
- 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 Reference Weight Management.
- Practice deep breathing exercises before surgery.
- If possible, be active before your surgery to increase your fitness level. For more information, see the topic Reference Fitness.
- Eat a balanced diet. Make an appointment with a dietitian if you need help with menu planning. For more information, see the topic Reference Healthy Eating.
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 Reference dehydration Opens New Window and constipation.
- Sit up, cough, and breathe deeply to expand your lungs and help prevent breathing problems, such as Reference pneumonia Opens New Window.
- 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.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 16, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Brent Shoji, MD - General Surgery
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine