A shoulder replacement is considered a major surgery that requires advanced planning. The first thing your doctor will ask you is to undergo a physical examination to identify and treat other health problems before the surgery, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Aside from health assessment, expect changes involving routine activities, hobbies, and other lifestyle changes.
In this post, you’ll learn helpful tips to prepare yourself for shoulder replacement surgery.
Modifying Your Diet and Lifestyle
One of the major preparations before a shoulder surgery is modifying your diet because having the right diet before surgery will make your recovery faster and easier. You need vitamins and minerals for faster wound healing. Enough protein helps your muscles grow back stronger, and calcium-rich foods, such as seafood, leafy greens, and dairy products, can help the bones heal faster.
Adjusting your diet should be done as early as possible, as well as your lifestyle modifications. Talking to a trusted and reputable orthopaedic surgeon, like helphealmeortho.com, can help you with your diet and exercise planning before your shoulder replacement surgery.
Here are some tips when adjusting your diet:
- Avoid crash diets before surgery to lose weight. While your doctor may advise you to lose weight, crash diets are low in calories and aren’t nutritionally balanced. You can lose weight by following an exercise regimen and eating a balanced diet to recover from the shoulder replacement surgery quickly.
- Increase your fibre intake. Constipation is a common occurrence after surgery because of pain medications and anaesthesia, which makes the recovery period uncomfortable and difficult. Consume high-fibre foods, such as apples, strawberries, pineapples, oranges, and dark-colored vegetables to reduce the negative effects of constipation.
- Drink enough water to increase hydration for faster recovery and easier insertion of intravenous line upon hospitalization.
- Decrease your fat intake. A lower fat intake before surgery can help reduce the risk of surgical infections and inflammation.
Smoking dangerously increases surgical risks because it slows down the tissue and wound healing process. Your lungs and heart don’t work well if you smoke, so you should quit early. Smoking has high levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine, which decreases your immune defenses, compromising your respiratory tract to infection, and worsened by the effects of anesthesia. Also, nicotine can impede the healing of bones and soft tissues, which increases your risk of post-surgical deep vein thrombosis or a deadly blood clot in deep veins.
Here are the reasons why you need to quit smoking before shoulder replacement surgery:
- Reduce your risk of developing complications after surgery, like pneumonia
- Less likely need to use a mechanical ventilator or a machine that helps you breathe after surgery
- Faster healing of surgical incision, bones, and deep tissues
Report Any Medical Condition
Remember that any fever, flu, cold, herpes breakout, or any medical condition may affect the outcome of the surgery. Reporting any medical condition will help the doctor plan all aspects of care. Any dental, heart, lung, kidney, or bladder problems should be treated before surgery because even a mild infection can delay the operation to avoid major complications.
If you get sick days before the shoulder replacement surgery, make sure to let your doctor know about it. With the advent of modern science and technology, it’s now possible to contact your doctor easier through digital media and AI-based healthcare applications.
Here are some healthcare apps and digital media platforms doctors use to connect with patients:
- Practo: It is an appointment booking system, allowing patients to view the doctor’s availability and book appointments using a smartphone app or website.
- Medici: It is a mobile app that’s easy to use and allows doctors to communicate with their patients safely and securely from a mobile phone.
Finish Dental Work
It’s important to finish all dental work at least two months before surgery. As much as possible, avoid any dental work, like tooth extraction, six to eight weeks before a shoulder replacement surgery and six weeks after. Harmful microorganisms or germs in the mouth may enter the bloodstream and infect your joint. Before any dental work, make sure to inform your dentist about your planned surgery so antibiotics will be prescribed accordingly.
There are certain medications you need to stop taking that make blood clotting difficult or increase the risk of bleeding or blood loss during and after surgery. Here are some examples:
- Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve
- Aspirin, like Bayer aspirin and antiplatelet therapy
- Steroids (immune system suppressant drug)
Prepare for Blood Extraction
In any major surgery, a blood transfusion may be called for, so you may need to have your blood extracted and stored for possible autotransfusion to reduce problems associated with blood typing and infections.
Proper preparation before a shoulder replacement surgery can make a huge difference in your recovery period. Eating nutritious food, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol intake, adequate exercise, following medication prescriptions and your surgeon’s general medical advice will help you recover easier and faster.