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Prepare your body

Being as healthy as you can be before you go to hospital will reduce the chance of infection and other complications. The healthier you are, the better your body can cope with the stress of surgery.

Eat as well as you can

Eating nourishing meals with lots of fruit, vegetables, healthy grains and legumes will help your body deal with the stress of a hospital stay. If you are underweight, try to eat more frequent, smaller meals at regular intervals to reach a healthy weight before you go to hospital.

Quit smoking

If you smoke, try to quit. Quitting smoking will improve your recovery and reduce the chance of complications and infections. The sooner you can quit, the better, but even if you stop smoking the day before surgery, you will experience positive outcomes.

 

Get help to quit – A number of free services are available to help you quit smoking and will increase the chance that you’re successful. Call the Quitline® on 13 78 48 or visit quitnow.gov.au.

Manage other health conditions

Make sure your doctor or surgeon knows about all health conditions you have, since they may impact your surgery and recovery. See your GP as early as possible before your surgery to make sure any other conditions are well-managed. If you have diabetes, make an extra effort to manage your blood glucose levels.

See your dentist

Poor oral health has been linked to infections. If you can, see your dentist for a check-up before you go to hospital so any issues can be treated. Brush your teeth really well (at least twice a day, especially after meals), and don’t forget to floss!

Feeling unwell?

Make sure any infections you have, such as a cold or a skin infection, are cleared up before you have surgery. If you feel like you may be getting sick just before you’re due to go to hospital, let your doctor or the hospital know, as your operation may need to be postponed until you’re better.

 

Do you have an advance care directive?

An advance care directive outlines your preferences for healthcare and other matters if something happens and you are unable to make your own decisions or explain what you want. Although you may not need one now, it’s worth planning ahead. For more information and resources, see www.advancecareplanning.org.au or call them on 1300 208 582.


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Things you should know

While we hope you find this information helpful, please note that it is general in nature.  It is not health advice, and is not tailored to meet your individual health needs.  You should always consult a trusted health professional before making decisions about your health care.  While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date.  And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.  For these reasons we are unable to accept responsibility for any loss that may be sustained from acting on this information (subject to applicable consumer guarantees). Medibank Private Limited ABN 47 080 890 259.