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Anxiety Before Your Operation

Anxiety before your Operation

Apprehension or anxiety about coming into hospital for your operation or procedure is entirely normal; however excessive anxiety is not good for you. When you are very anxious it can cause the heart to race and pound in your chest and can make your pulse beat in an irregular fashion. You can also suffer sleeplessness and your stomach can become upset making you feel sick, the anxiety can also affect your memory making you seem more forgetful than normal.

Anxiety can often make the symptoms of your condition worse although will not have any affect on your operation or your recovery.

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What can you do about anxiety?

Everyone has their own way of relaxing for some it may be listening to music, others enjoy relaxing while reading a good novel, playing handheld computer games or watching the television. These are all forms of distraction and relaxation but are not always enough to hold your attention when in hospital and worried.
There is no one answer to anxiety, but there are things you can do for yourself and the healthcare team can do for you, working together gets the best results.

  1. Be informed- ask questions make sure you have all the facts regarding your surgery and that you are happy with the answers. Read the leaflets, booklets you have been given and if it answers all your questions that’s great but if not seek further information. The more you understand about what is happening to you the less you will worry, and if you don’t understand the explanation just ask for more details.

  2. If you are worried about a particular aspect i.e. Pain relief or “going to sleep” (anaesthetic) speak to the Anaesthetist they will welcome your questions and give you all the answers you need.

  3. If you feel that you would like to be a little sleepy during the  your local anaesthetic operation you may speak with the Anaesthetist and this can be arranged.

  4. If you are having a local anaesthetic and if you find music helpful in relaxing you ask if you can take your I pod /tape recorder or CD player with you. Listening to someone on tape read a novel to you is often very absorbing.

  5. If you are worried about how your wound will look or how long it will take for the scar to heal - discuss this with your doctor they will be able to tell you what it should look like at what stage, and also when you will be able to resume work.

Sometimes hospital staff forget that this is all new to you and assume you have knowledge of procedures and how things happen, but they are always more than happy to go over every step of the way in great detail if you ask them to.

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