Scared of Surgery?

You’re not alone. The thought of having surgery can be scary. Here are a few things to consider.
July 8, 2019 | 2 min read
Christa S. Plew, MBA
Editor-in-Chief

Millions of people struggle with tomophobia… the fear of having surgery. Unfortunately, this fear could prevent them from seeking the help they need to improve their quality of life.

If you find yourself at this fork in the road, trying to decide if surgery is right for you, here are a few things to consider when contemplating surgery:

1.     Ask about alternatives. For many conditions, there are nonsurgical treatment options that you could try ranging from medications, to injections, or therapy. Consult your doctor to find out what, if any, alternate options might be right for you. 

2.     Get the details. Sometimes fear comes from not knowing what to expect. Simply knowing what happens during surgery is enough to calm anxiety for many people.  Some doctors and companies even have videos and animations that will show you exactly what will happen during the procedure. Ask your doctor to learn more about your specific procedure and if there are any materials you can review.

3.     Understand the recovery process.  For some people, fear lies in not knowing what the road to recovery entails. How many days will you be in the hospital? How much time will you be off work? When can you expect to resume activity? Are there activities that might be permanently prohibited? Talk to your doctor about their post-surgical plan for your care.

4.     Know the risks. Knowing the worst-case scenario can also be comforting, instead of worrying about all the possibilities. Be honest with your doctor about your fears and seek clarification on the risks.

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