Planning Ahead For Your Healthcare Needs Before and After a Surgery

You plan ahead for a vacation, a holiday meal and even a trip to the grocery store, so why wouldn’t you plan ahead for your healthcare needs?


If you or a loved one has a scheduled surgery, you should have a plan in place for both what needs to occur before the procedure and what will happen after the hospital stay. What should be done to prepare? Who will take care of me? Will physical rehabilitation be needed? What if there are complications?


Before surgery, here are some tasks to consider:

  • Take a free pre-surgery preparation class at the hospital if it offers one. For example, many hospitals offer classes on what to expect after joint replacement surgery. Check your hospital’s website for class information.
  • Visit your dentist for a checkup. If additional procedures like a filling are recommended, get them done before your surgery to lower your chance of infection.
  • If you have any ongoing medical issues, be sure to see your specialist before your surgery to make sure you’re cleared for the procedure.
  • Make sure you know what your health insurance plan will cover so there are no surprises when you’re billed after the procedure.
  • If you will need to stay in a care facility after surgery, research the options in your area and be sure to visit and tour the facility so you feel comfortable with where you’ll be staying as you recover.


Planning ahead is critical. Below are some things to keep in mind following your procedure:

  • Make sure you know what medications you will need to manage your pain.
  • Make arrangements to pick up post-discharge medications in advance. It is important that you follow the medication prescribed to promote your recovery.
  • Ask questions about your medications. Things change, so make sure you clarify if you may continue taking the medications you were on at home as well as the new medications or if the new medications replace the ones from home.
  • Be prepared in case you may need additional care than originally planned for. Many companies, like Santé, offer home health services where you can receive assistance in the comfort of your own home.
  • If friends and family offer to bring you meals or visit, take them up on it. It’s best to have more help than you think you need.
  • Listen to your body. You know best how you’re feeling and when something may be wrong. Be proactive about contacting your doctor if you feel something is not right.
  • Be sure to keep up with all your follow-up appointments. It’s important to stay on top of your health after a procedure.


There are many resources available to help you through this process.  Preparation and planning ahead go a long way in ensuring your recovery is as smooth as possible.

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