Preparing Your Body

You have a very important role in your recovery and will have a big impact on how quickly you get back to normal.


Your heart and lungs work harder during and after operation. If you are already active, it is a big boost. Brisk walking, swimming, cycling, gardening, playing with children are all helpful. Any activity which makes you slightly out of breath is helpful. Avenues of help are GP surgeries, NHS health trainers, community walking groups, if you have back pain, physiotherapists may help too.


Your body needs to repair itself after surgery and it is important to take a healthy diet, commensurate with your age, fitness and other medical conditions.


If you are overweight, losing weight will have a huge beneficial effect, not only for your recovery, but your quality of life and longevity. Losing weight helps with improving diabetes, blood pressure, pain from joints, risk of blood clots and wound infection and allows you to exercise more easily.


Make sure you do not exceed the recommended limit. Excessive alcohol intake can reduce liver’s ability to produce blood clotting factors and reduce the body’s ability to heal after surgery. If you have been drinking in excess of the limit for a prolonged time, it is important to inform your health care team.


Stopping smoking may be hard but the good news is that quitting or cutting down some weeks before surgery can significantly improve your recovery from surgery, and may be an ideal time to find the extra motivation to give up. Your GP practice and several other charities (Action on Smoking and Health – ASH) may be starting points to help you on your journey.

Royal College of Surgeons American College of Surgeons University of Liverpool Mayo Clinic