How To Reduce Stress Levels Before Brain Surgery

The prospect of any type of surgery can leave you feeling anxious, but there are two areas of a person’s body where they really seem to get nervous when talking about an operation – their heart and their head.

This may seem obvious, because your heart and brain are the two most vital organs in your body, but it doesn’t change the fact that patients who are about to undergo an operation on these areas always seem to be looking for ways to calm their nerves before the operation. Today, we’re going to share some tips for reducing your stress and anxiety levels before undergoing neurosurgery.

Remaining Calm Before Surgery

Whether it’s surgery, the big soccer match or a midterm exam, people always experience two different types of anxiety; anxiety over things they can control, and anxiety over things they cannot. Most of the time people spend more time stressing out over the things they can’t control, and while this makes sense, you actually have a lot more control over these seemingly “uncontrollable” factors than you think you do. Here’s a look at some of the controllable factors you’ll want to account for before surgery, and some ways to mitigate the “uncontrollable” factors.

1. Prepare Your Body and Mind – Surgery is very physically demanding on a body, so you’ll want to make sure you are as healthy as possible heading into the operation. This means eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, and exercising to stay in shape. Putting your body in a good position to come out of surgery as healthy as possible is something you can control. However, you’ll also want to prepare your mind. Ask questions about the operation, the rehab, what to expect, what potential complications may arise, if you’ll need assistance after surgery, etc. All of these questions will help reduce your anxiety levels because you’ll have a clearer picture of your expectations.

2. The Surgery – Most of the anxiety comes from the thought of the surgery itself, because the patient will have no control over the surgeon’s hands and what they will encounter during the operation. This is similar to why people get anxious on airplanes. Once you’re up in the air, you personally have no control over the plane – it’s up to the pilots to get you home safely. Flying, much like surgery, is very safe and is only getting safer by the day, but it’s this sense of not being in control that freaks people out. However, you do have control over where you go for surgery and which surgeon performs the operation. Visit numerous specialists until you find one you’re comfortable with that has years of experience and has successfully performed the operation a number of times. You can control who performs the operation, and a skilled surgeon certainly increases your likelihood of everything running smoothly, so take control of that aspect of the operation.

3. The Positives – Finally, the last thing we always tell our patients is to focus on why you’re going through the process in the first place. There’s a chance a benign brain tumor if causing you frequent headaches, or you’re dealing with a potentially cancerous cyst that needs to be removed to ensure you remain cancer free. Instead of thinking about what could go wrong in surgery, think about how great your life will be if and when the procedure goes as planned. The procedure could add decades to your life or relieve constant pain! Always try to look at the bright side, because far more often than not when it comes to surgery, the operation goes as expected and the patient is better off afterwards.

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