It is very common for patients who require surgery to get anxious beforehand. However, when that anxiety is severe, it is called surgical anxiety.
Surgical anxiety is present when a patient’s fear of surgery is so significant that they can experience physical symptoms such as
- racing heart
- chest pain
- panic attack
Anyone can experience surgical anxiety when preparing for surgery but patients with an anxiety disorder may be more prone to surgical anxiety and fear than the average patient.
Reasons for anxiety vary and include:
- having a bad experience with previous surgeries
- fear of the unknown
- fear of the result of the surgery, like an alteration in the appearance of the body, such as a mastectomy
- fear of losing lose sexual function such as with prostate surgery
- fear of death
If you are suffering from surgical anxiety, it is essential to seek treatment so that your health will not suffer further. Anxiety can be a vicious cycle, with stress and physical symptoms causing sleeplessness, which in turn will make your anxiety worse and your ability to cope will be diminished.
Many patients with severe anxiety postpone or avoid surgery, even if it is very harmful to their health. Do not be one of them. Learning to control your anxiety well enough to allow surgery to proceed is essential for your well being.