Having surgery is never easy. Patients worry that the procedure is successful and that they recover well. It’s totally fine to be afraid. But when that fear is excessive and keeps them from functioning normally, it can become a bigger problem.
In this article, we’ll talk about preoperative anxiety and tips on how to help your patients deal with it for a better recovery.
What is preoperative anxiety and why is it a problem?
Preoperative anxiety is the fear, tension, or anxiety some people may feel before surgery. If they are dealing with it right now, they are not alone. Around 80% of the patients admitted to the hospital for surgery experience preoperative anxiety.1
The reasons why people feel anxious before surgery vary widely, but usually involve:2
· Concerns about family
· Fear of complications
· Wariness about the surgery outcomes
· Fear of postoperative pain
Studies show that preoperative anxiety can negatively affect a patient’s recovery and increase pain perception after the surgery.1 So, the higher the preoperative anxiety, the greater the need for pain meds, which can cause some undesired side effects.1
How to deal with preoperative anxiety?
There are several ways to deal with preoperative anxiety. Among them are:1
· Educate as much as you can about the procedure, its risks, benefits, and expected results. To do this, talk to a trusted healthcare professional
· Talk to a therapist.
· Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing.
Hypnotherapy for preoperative anxiety
Hypnosis and self hypnosis have proven to reduce preoperative anxiety in several studies. Moreover, this intervention can be particularly helpful for people with chronic pain who use pain relievers on a daily basis.1
Would you like to learn more about it?
Visit our website to Schedule your Free Hypnotherapy Screening.
1- Stamenkovic, D. M., Rancic, N. K., Latas, M. B., Neskovic, V., Rondovic, G. M., Wu, J. D., & Cattano, D. (2018). Preoperative anxiety and implications on postoperative recovery: what can we do to change our history. Minerva anestesiologica, 84(11), 1307-1317.
2- Ramsay, M. A. E. (1972) A survey of pre-operative fear. Anaesthesia 27, 396–402 .