Fear of surgery is also known as surgical anxiety. If you are about to have surgery, and feel extremely anxious, then an important step in dealing with your surgical anxiety is to arm yourself with information.
Become as well informed as possible regarding
- your illness
- the prescribed therapies
- the specifics of the surgical procedure
- The low risks of anaesthesia
For many, anxiety over surgery is a normal response to being expected to make a life altering decision with minimal information. Anxiety may also be a by product of financial concerns. Therefore, once you are armed with information you will feel less anxious.
It is your right to obtain the necessary facts. Ask your doctors questions, read, speak to others who have had the same procedure and do your own research. Find out about your options for sick leave and health insurance and empower yourself to make financially viable choices.
If anxiety persists, even with a full understanding of what is realistic during and after the procedure, counselling may be necessary. Counselling will help you cope with the changes that will occur after surgery.
Counselling will help you if you are having surgery for life threatening illness, such as cancer. Being able to discuss concerns openly with someone who is not directly involved can be very therapeutic. Friends and family members cannot be objective and, anyway, you may not want to burden them with your fears.
Counselling will also help you if you have had a previous bad experience with a surgery or healthcare provider. Facing your specific fears with a concerned, qualified health professional will go a long way to helping you manage your anxiety and obtaining the surgery that is vital for your health.