Atrium Health Navicent Surgery, a Facility of Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center

Helping you prepare for your surgery

Here at Navicent Health, we are dedicated in helping you get ready for your surgery. We know that the best outcomes from surgery start with patients who are well prepared prior to their surgery. By making small changes in your daily routine, you can improve your overall health and well-being. These small changes have shown to have positive impacts on surgical outcomes. Please review the following sections for tips that can help you have a successful surgery.


Focusing on a healthy diet is important for preparation and recovery from surgery. Getting a combination of nutrients from different food groups will give your body the fuel it needs to recover. Good nutrition prior to surgery will help your body heal faster, provides strength and energy, and helps fight infection. Please review the following resources for tips on eating a healthy diet:


The many benefits of exercise on health and well-being are well documented. This does not mean you have to be a runner or member of a gym to improve your outcomes after surgery. Evidence has shown that early mobilization after surgery improves surgical outcomes. Increasing your activity level by even a small degree before surgery will help you get up and moving sooner and help shorten your hospital stay. Current guidelines suggest at least 30 minutes of modest activity (such as brisk walking) five times a week. Studies show that even 30 minutes a day, broken into three 10-minute intervals, has a positive impact on health. If you cannot tolerate a walking program, we can speak with you on ways to increase your fitness level based on your physical capabilities. Please review the following resources for tips on incorporating exercise into your life:

Lung health

Improving your lung health prior to surgery can help speed up your recovery and help prevent post op complications such as breathing problems and pneumonia. After surgery, breathing can become shallow due to multiple factors, which can increase your risk for complications. If you are having surgery to the abdomen or chest area, smoke or have a history of smoking, or currently have lung problems, your chances of having post op breathing problems are further increased. We will work with you on deep breathing exercises after your surgery to reduce these risks. Studies show that learning these exercises prior to surgery makes patients better at them and more compliant with them after surgery. Just as you can strengthen muscles in your body through exercise, deep breathing exercises help strengthen the muscles around the lungs.

Getting your lungs ready for surgery focuses on two things:

1. Performing breathing exercises to help strengthen your lungs, chest, and abdominal muscles prior to surgery.

To help strengthen your lungs, perform this exercise three times a day up until your surgery.

Round 1: Slow Deep Breathe in - hold 2 seconds - exhale
      Wait 2 Minutes

Round 2: Slow Deep Breathe in - hold 2 seconds - exhale
      Wait 2 Minutes

Round 3: Slow Deep Breathe in - hold 2 seconds - exhale

2. Quitting smoking (Even if only for a few weeks around surgery)

Smoking can have a big impact on post op outcomes and increases your risk of complications in several ways. Smoking can make it hard for you to breathe after surgery, increases your chance of wound infection, increases your chance of a heart attack, decreases wound healing, and increases the risk of getting pneumonia after your surgery.

We know that quitting is not easy. Some people attempt to quit many times before they succeed. Others have attempted to quit and have yet to succeed. There are many ways to quit smoking and we will work to find a way that is best for you. We offer a free smoking cessation class and will help walk you through the quitting process so that you can have the best surgical outcome possible.

Please review the following resources on tips on how to stop smoking: