Preparing for Surgery

Methods to help ease anxiety, reduce pain and encourage healing.

Surgery, even when minor, can cause anxiety. Fortunately, research has shown that mind-body interventions, such as guided imagery, aromatherapy, acupuncture and massage therapy, can ease this anxiety. In addition, they can help reduce post-operative pain, nausea and vomiting. By helping you feel better faster, they may help reduce your hospital stay and lower out-of-pocket pharmacy costs.

Sometimes it's the simple things that make the greatest difference. Be an active participant in your care and direct your own successful outcome.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a simple strategy to help you relax, reduce surgery-related stress, and improve outcomes. It uses visualization skills to help you feel peaceful, healthy, and calm. It can be done in various settings, and is easy and inexpensive.

The book Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster, by Peggy Huddleston, will teach you easy visualization skills to facilitate relaxation and promote healing. Follow the steps in this easy-to-use book and CD to prepare for you surgery today.

To purchase Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster, please call 414-219-5900 or email IntegrativeMedicine@aurora.org.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using pure essential oils to calm, balance and give energy to the body, mind and spirit. It can help

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is commonly used to promote a sense of relaxation, reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep. It is one of the most commonly used essential oils in the world today. Lavender is noted for its floral scent with woody undertones. Utilize a diffuser at the bedside to scent the room throughout the day and night.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is used to help reduce stress and anxiety, and its citrus slightly spice scent helps lift your spirits. Utilize a diffuser at the bedside to scent the room throughout the day and night.

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) promotes restful sleep, and helps to reduce nausea and irritability. Utilize a diffuser at the bedside to scent the room throughout the day and night.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is well known for relieving nausea and settling the digestive system. Ginger offers a warm peppery aromatic scent. Utilize a diffuser at the bedside to scent the room throughout the day and night. Place a few drops of ginger essential oil on a cotton ball or nasal inhaler for portable convenience and carry the scent where ever you go.

Learn more about aromatherapy and the use of essential oils.

To purchase high-quality, pure essential oils, please call 414-219-5900 or email integrative.medicine@aurora.org.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy plays an important role in preparing your body for surgery and after in the recovery process.  Pre-surgery massage can help relieve stress and relaxes muscles. Post-surgery massage can help reduce pain, scar tissue and muscular tension, and facilitate relaxation and sleep.

Set up an appointment with one of our licensed massage therapists.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help the body prepare for and recover from surgery.

Pre-operative acupuncture helps the body prepare for surgery by maximizing the physiological and psychological conditions. The result promotes physical and mental relaxation, better pain management and may significantly lower the incidence of nausea.

Post-surgical acupuncture is used to reduce and control pain. It offers an unique option for individuals who are sensitive to pain medication. Acupuncture can also help reduce post-operative nausea and vomiting, normalize bowel function, and boost the immune system and mood.

Find acupuncture locations and appointments.

Talk to your physician about your specific condition and desire to have a pre and post-surgical healing plan. It is important to select the right care for your condition and coordinate the delivery with your surgical team.