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Pre-operative anxiety: how to help patients prepare for surgery

Communication and planning are vital – as is knowing how much the patient wants to know

Communication and planning are vital – as is understanding how much information the patient wants to know

  • About one in four patients are what would be classed as very anxious before surgery
  • Too much – or too little - knowledge can exacerbate feelings of anxiety ahead of surgery, so it’s important to find out what your patient needs
  • Options for offering support before surgery and in theatre, what questions to ask, and the extra steps required for some patient groups

When faced with undergoing anaesthetic, and thoughts of risk factors, surgical instruments and a possible long recovery, it is understandable for patients to feel nervous ahead of surgery.



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