Preparing for surgery can cause patients to feel uneasy, but especially so if they do not have adequate support from their health care provider. Because most surgeries require invasive procedures, patients can better protect their well-being when they spend adequate time preparing.

Surgical infections can happen when lackluster sanitation processes introduce harmful bacteria to a surgical site. When both patients and surgical teams use caution when prepping a surgical site, they can reduce the chances of an infection happening.

Provider experience

One of the best ways patients can advocate for their health and safety is to do enough research about their surgeons. The internet has a wealth of information ranging from certification disclosures to patient reviews. According to John Hopkins Medicine, questions about a surgeon’s experience in performing specific surgeries can elevate patient confidence and provide helpful insight. Some questions they may ask include the following:

  • Have past patients experienced complications?
  • How many times has the surgeon performed this procedure?
  • What training has the surgeon received?
  • How long has the surgeon practiced this specific procedure?

Provider protocols

Every surgeon may have different ways of prepping patients for surgery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when preparing a surgical site, surgical teams should wear proper protective gear to minimize germ transfer as much as possible. They should also use antiseptic to sanitize the surgical area prior to surgery.

Patients should practice mindfulness about their health in the days and weeks leading up to their surgery. They should avoid shaving near the surgical area which can cause skin irritation and leave the area more vulnerable to infection. Patients should also use vigilance in following their provider’s instructions for preparing for their surgery. With adequate attention, communication and collaboration, patients and surgical providers can remove many of the risks of surgical infections.