Feeling anxious about an upcoming surgery isn’t something to be ashamed of. It’s also not uncommon. In fact, about 75% of people facing a surgical procedure experience some amount of anxiety. And all of those feelings are well worth addressing.
If you’re experiencing surgery-related anxiety, Ali Hendi, MD, and his dedicated team of professionals in Chevy Chase, Maryland, can discuss mindfulness techniques to help you have a calmer outlook over your upcoming procedure.
In this blog, Dr. Hendi explains why surgery can trigger anxiety and how meditation can help.
Surgery and anxiety
Surgical procedures may bring on anxiety for a range of reasons, from worries about the procedure or anesthesia involved to concerns about complications or the “unknowns.”
And, once you develop the angst, this may trigger other effects, too, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling distracted by your excessive worries
- Nausea or a “nervous stomach”
- Shortness of breath
- Signs of stress, such as heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
Your anxiety symptoms may be more pronounced if you or a loved one has had a challenging surgical experience in the past or if you manage an anxiety disorder.
While general anxiety about surgery is more common, some cases involve a full-fledged phobia known as tomophobia. In any case, all types of surgical anxiety are worthy of care and respect, especially if they keep you from getting the care you need or significantly impact your quality of life.
How meditation can help
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can increase relaxation and reduce stress. And this is beneficial, because feeling relaxed may help you feel better going into your procedure, and it may even improve your surgical outcome.
The reason it may improve your surgical outcome is because anxiety can fuel inflammation and increase physical pain. So, going into surgery with less stress may help your body heal better. Furthermore, if you’re more relaxed prior to your surgery and after it, this may help you sleep better, which may further help in your recovery process.
Leading up to your surgery, Dr. Hendi can teach you awareness techniques and breathing exercises. In general, the techniques he teaches you can help you relax and become cognizant of when stressful thoughts occur. Once you become aware of when they occur, you can replace them with more healthful thoughts.
He can also walk you through what to expect during your procedure, so you can feel more confident going in. You may also benefit from talking with a qualified therapist, leaning on loved ones for support, and bringing up any questions or concerns you have at your pre-operative appointments.
To learn more about how meditation techniques may be able to help you better cope with surgery, or to discuss any skin issues you may have, call 301-812-4591 or book an appointment online with the practice of Ali Hendi, MD, today.