As summer turns to fall, the cooler temperatures are refreshing and enjoyable, but this is also the season when you need to focus more on your overall well being. Colder temperatures also bring colds, flus, and other viruses which spread at work and school. Many of our patients have questions about what they should do if they come down with a cold or flu before or after their surgery. We'll answer those here and give some tips for avoiding getting sick when you have surgery scheduled on your calendar.When Is Flu Season?
Flu season is what experts call that time of year when people are more susceptible to coming down with viruses and getting sick. This varies according to geography, but typically people in America begin to come down with the flu in October, and the virus is still active sometimes into May. The worst months for flu activity are usually between December and February.
If you already have had your surgery and you find yourself getting sick during your recovery period, don't be afraid. This will not have an effect on the result of your surgery. It is important that you see your primary care physician, though. This is because surgery does weaken the body, and you want to be able to recover from the flu and your surgery without any further complications illness and exhaustion might cause.Warding off the Flu before Surgery
If you become sick before your scheduled surgery, call Bancroft Feldman and let Jeannette, the nurse, or the anesthesia provider know. The surgery can be rescheduled for when you are not ill.
If you want to avoid getting sick before your scheduled surgery, the best steps to take are the same ones you'd take when you are trying to heal - drink lots of fluids, eat healthy, nourishing foods, and get your rest. Sleep and nutrients are what the body uses to replace its cells and fight off disease. If you do not get enough of either, your body will be weaker.
The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against the flu before it begins spreading in your community because it takes about two weeks for the antibodies to develop in your body enough to create immunity to the virus. This means getting vaccinated in the fall by the end of October.
Getting a flu shot and taking extra good care of yourself before your scheduled surgery will help ensure that it can be performed as planned and will also aid your healing afterward. That's the great thing about strengthening your immune system: it benefits you in all kinds of ways. If you have any additional health issues, make sure to tell your surgeon when you come to your consultation. This cold and flu season, take good care of yourself and stay healthy!