Before surgery, doctors have a standard procedure that they follow with each patient.
They explain the possible side effects. They discuss after-surgery pain care and rehab. They give you a general idea of what to expect.
And then, just before the operation, you are asked to sign a consent form that says you agree to allow your doctor to perform the operation and you understand the risks.
But there is one danger that you likely won’t know about.
Studies show that up to 67% of seniors experience delirium after they wake up from surgery.
Although doctors rarely discuss it, it is the most common post-surgical complication in older adults, according to the American Geriatrics Society.
Delirium can be terrifying. It’s characterized by memory loss and hallucinations. Sufferers may behave erratically and have trouble speaking. It can last from a few days to several years.
But a new study has found a way to reduce the risk of post-operative delirium.
Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine enlisted 132 study participants. All were over 60 and slated for orthopedic procedures. They were in good mental health prior to surgery.
The research team asked participants what specific activities they performed, both physical and mental, in the month before their operations.
After their surgeries, 41 of the participants (31%) developed postoperative delirium. The researchers found that patients who had been physically active six to seven days a week had a 73% lower risk of the condition. Patients who were mentally active had an 81% lower risk.
The scientists found that physical and cognitive benefits were independent from each other. Patients who couldn’t exercise due to disability could still ward off delirium with mental activities.
Simple Strategy to Avoid Post-Operative Delirium
The study showed a wide range of activities were effective in slashing delirium risk.
Physical exercise included:
- Lifting weights
- Playing sports
- Physical therapy
Mental activities included:
- Crossword puzzles
If you’re scheduled for surgery, make a concerted effort to exercise your body and mind in the weeks before your operation. You can do the activities above or anything else that makes your brain and muscles work harder.
This crucial preparation will lower your chances of developing perhaps the most frightening surgical complication.
Editor’s Note: If you go into the hospital, your number one goal should be getting out alive. Discover the three biggest risks of having surgery and how to make sure you don’t fall victim to them. Get The Surgery Survival Guide. It’s in Independent Healing, your number one source for evidence-based natural health solutions. To subscribe, go HERE.