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Going into Hospital for an Operation? How to Stay Fit & Healthy

 width= Sometimes an operation is necessary as a result of an accident and then there is no chance to prepare. But many do have advance notice, affording them the chance to take some helpful steps in preparation. No one wants to be in hospital in the first place and everyone wants to prevent any mishaps while in there.

Some points to remember

Your medical team will give you a set of instructions to follow and your surgeon should outline the procedure but it does not hurt to emphasise the following:
  • If you are elderly, it is important to know that research (reported in June 2013) suggested that exposure to general anaesthesia increases the risk of dementia in the elderly by as much as 35%.
  • ‘The fitter a patient is, the better the heart and lungs combine to supply oxygen to the tissues — a key determinant of how quickly a person recovers.
  • Drink two litres of water a day the week before. Dehydration means oxygen is circulated less efficiently, leading to poor wound healing.
  • Make sure to keep your hands washed with regular soap and warm to hot water. Anti-bacterial soaps and antiseptic gel are not recommended.
  • Use antiseptic wipes around your bed area to prevent infection - for example Dettol or Lysol Surface Cleaning Wipes, which claim to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses, including E.coli, Salmonella, MRSA and the flu virus.
  • If undergoing a major operation, check the anaesthetist will use an oesophageal doppler, which measures how much fluid the body needs during an operation. Patients can be dehydrated without any outward sign. Preventing this lowers post-operative complications and death rates.
  • Find out how long the operation will take, when you will feel better and what after-effects you may suffer. This way, you will know whether your post-operative position is normal.
  • Many lives are placed at risk because of prescription errors or drug mix-ups. Before taking your medication, ask the nurse what it is for and get her to check your notes.

And there is more

Here are some suggestions on how you can prepare in advance for your operation. We do recommend you check with your health care professional first.


This is the most abundant of your body’s proteins and is found in your connective tissues, muscles, bones, tendons, blood vessels and digestive system. It comprises 70% of your skin’s protein. Unfortunately, collagen diminishes with age, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles. Environmental factors like pollution and lifestyle choices such as poor nutrition can diminish collagen production, hastening the reduction of your skin’s elasticity while aging your bones and joints. Bone broth is considered a bonafide super food, as collagen leaches out of the bones as it cooks down, bringing healing benefits, soothing achy bones and muscles, fighting infection and inflammation and improving your skin.

Vitamin C

The body uses a lot of vitamin C to make connective tissue and high levels of the vitamin speed the healing of surgical wounds. Supplement with high doses of vitamin C. Recommended is 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day for five days before surgery and continuing with that dose for a week afterwards.


Turmeric can help in evading some of the complications associated with postoperative recovery:
  • Turmeric as a postoperative painkiller, effective without side effects.
  • Turmeric as an antimicrobial agent, to keep away infections.
  • The antioxidant property of turmeric aids in wound healing.
  • Turmeric acts as an anticoagulant agent.
  • Turmeric acts as a protection against cardiovascular complications.
  • Turmeric can help prevent postoperative fatigue which could last for up to a month in approximately 33% of the patients undergoing surgery. Less than good nutrition, lack of exercise, preoperative stress and post-operative pain contribute to this.
  • Curcumin (Turmeric) is known as an immunomodulatory agent. This means it can reduce inflammation with even a low dosage being able to enhance the body’s immune response.
Whether you take your turmeric as a powder, supplement or in your cooking, here is more information on how to ensure your body absorbs the turmeric for full benefits.

Vitamin D

If you are undergoing surgery involving bone or muscle, raising your vitamin D levels above or better than 40 ng/ml will give an earlier, faster, better result for that surgery. Start taking a good quality vitamin D3 supplement at 5000 IUs now and continue until at least you are fully recovered from your surgery.

Are you likely to end up with a scar?

An operation will often result in a scar. But it is possible to reduce the appearance of such scars with our very own H-Scars Formula. As well as being safe and effective in reducing keloids (from burns, injuries or skin conditions), facial scars and acne scars, the formula is also recommended for hypertrophic scars from surgical procedures. Use H-Scars Formula for fresh wounds following surgery to reduce the appearance of the scars before they occur.    width=