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Delaying Surgery Because You Are Scared

Fear of surgery is not uncommon. In fact, it is absolutely normal. How do you overcome fear that holds you back from undergoing an elective surgery that is geared toward improving your quality of life? This article will discuss a few of the more common fears and place some logical facts beside them.

A big part of fear is the loss of control and placing your trust in the surgeon. You have probably already done your homework and you know he or she is experienced and highly educated in their field. It is also important to realize that the average surgeon performs surgery 200 – 500 times per year.  Because of this, they have answered just about every question in the book and have experienced countless different cases and situations. This is a good thing. This means you should not feel silly when asking any question you feel you need answered regarding the surgery that you have been recommended. So talk to your surgeon, tell him you are scared, and have him offered you reassurances where needed.

Another worry that comes into play when considering surgery is the burden you might place on family members. Your family wants to see you get better. They are your cheerleader of sorts and you would do the same for them.  The key here is to focus on the end goal and recognizing that this will benefit your family in the long run because you are making a decision to improve your condition that has now, only in the short term, warranted surgery.

Anesthesia. Many people have the fear of not waking up.  For most surgery candidates, anesthesia is a walk in the park.  If an analogy is needed, we can use the example of crossing the street.  You take normal precautions to look both ways, you take those few steps to get there and before you know it, you have completed your objective.  Imagine living in the early 1800’s when there was no such thing as anesthesia for patients.  Taking a little nap while your surgeon takes good care of you is a much better scenario.

Another thing patients sometimes do is let their fear overthrow their intentions to the point where they cancel their planned surgery. The obvious problem with this is that the condition causing the problem continues and, most likely, gets worse.  In addition, delaying surgery may increase surgery anxiety. Cancelling surgery simply because of fear is an ineffective coping mechanism that only gives fear more time to compile.

Most importantly, remember that you consulted a surgeon because you want to give yourself its highest potential for better health.  Stay focus on this goal. You are a strong person. On the day of surgery, approach with the attitude of “Challenge… Accepted!”