It is totally normal for people to feel anxious when they have to go under the knife. Even if the procedure can restore your health to normal, nothing is 100% when it comes to surgery, minor or major. There is always some element of danger that the procedure poses to the patients.
Patients have varying degrees of anxiety when it comes to undergoing surgery. Some people are so nervous and anxious that they fear the mere thought of lying on the table and looking at the surgical exam light. Some simply want to talk about their fears to their doctors, nurses, family, and friends. Others have a neurotic kind of fear—they think that they will wake up during the surgery or that they’ll never wake up at all. These fears are all warranted and valid. The most common reasons people are afraid of surgery are fear of the unknown, death, pain, not being able to recover, the unfamiliar environment of a surgery room, and recovering after the surgery.
How to Deal with Anxiety
Some people respond very well to simply talking about their fears with their doctors. The medical professionals these patients are going to interact with during this whole process play a vital role in satisfying the needs of the patients to be assured. It will also help if you have a great support system from your family and friends. As long as there’s someone who can listen to you and distract you from your feelings, you’ll be just fine.
Patients who need to stay in the hospital one or two days before the surgery will even suffer more than those who only need to go there during the day of the operation. Since they are surrounded by the hospital staff, sickness, and general unwellness, their fears are further heightened and intensified.
Trust Your Medical Team
A patient needs to trust the medical team who’s going to handle his surgery. If you know that you can trust the doctors and nurses who will be there in the operating room, you will begin to feel at control again. You can improve this trust by researching about the doctors’ credentials, consulting with them, and understanding that they are trained to do their job.
You have already admitted that you need medical attention for whatever is ailing you. Anxiety is a condition, too, and you might need to admit to yourself that you need professional help to deal with it. You can learn meditation and hire a coach that will train you to become mentally tougher. Do anything that will increase that level of trust you have for yourself.
Plan Your Finances in Advance
Another reason people feel anxious about surgery is the cost involved. Prepare all the documents you need for your health insurance. If you need to co-pay for the procedure, find where to get the money—either from your savings or through a loan. Once you’ve got this all sorted out, you will feel physically and mentally better.
If you feel that your anxiety is out of control, advise your doctors immediately. You can be given a sedative hours before the procedure to calm your nerves. Some unscientific methods you can use to calm yourself before surgery are massages, acupuncture, and meditation.