How to Cope Constructively with Pre-Surgery Anxiety

How to Cope Constructively with Pre-Surgery Anxiety

Living & Loving with Prostate Cancer

If you're scheduled for a prostatectomy or any other surgery, it's highly likely you will experience a range of mild to severe anxiety or fear for days, weeks, or months prior to surgery. While pre-surgery anxiety is well-known among healthcare professionals, the majority of folks scheduled for surgery are left on their own to cope unless they ask for specific help.

I'm blessed with a wife who has a wonderful sense of humor. So, before one of my previous surgeries, we decided to hold a contest to determine which one of us had the longest list of pre-surgery fears. Since both of us are highly skilled worriers and a tad competitive, we both declared ourselves the winner. When we combined our lists, here’s what we came up with:

Common pre-surgery fears

  • The fear of dying on the operating table.
  • The fear of losing control once you are given anesthesia.
  • The fear of waking up in the middle of the procedure.
  • The fear that the surgeon will make a mistake or the surgery won't go well.
  • The fear of temporary or permanent postoperative changes.
  • The fear of postoperative pain.
  • The fe
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Rick Redner received his master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. He has spent many years working as a medical and psychiatric social worker He is the author of the award winning book I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours? His second book Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Penile Implants won the Beverly Hills International Book Awards in Men's Health in 2016. Additionally, the book was a winner in the 2017 IAN Book of the Year Awards.

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