• Dr. Tamara Kung, ND

Don’t Blunder While Going Under – How to Comfortably Navigate Pre & Post Surgery

Going for surgery can be a confusing, scary, stressful experience. Often there is anxiety and fears around pain and death, the potential disruption to your body’s ability to function, and possible changes in your body image.

Thankfully, there are many resources and healthcare providers here to guide and support you or your loved ones through this!

We’re going to take this opportunity to highlight how conventional and naturopathic medicine can make an all-star team together to optimize your operative experience!

Sometimes surgery is necessary. Conventional medicine is designed very well for treating emergent, and acutely serious conditions. It is efficient, and incorporates modern technology to ensure that serious or life-threatening concerns are mitigated so that people have a better chance for survival and higher quality of life.

Naturopathic medicine may not be part of the main event, but it definitely does well at supporting your foundational health throughout the process.

Here are some ways you can facilitate an integrated health care plan for you plan to go under!

1. Don’t be afraid to understand!

You’d be way less likely to sign up for skydiving if you didn’t understand how you’d prepare, arrive to peak altitude, and know what measures are in place for your safety. That’s just straight up stressful! So why would you subject yourself to surgery blindly?

Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider to walk you through the procedure. Ask all the questions and voice any concerns so you can have a thorough understanding of what is happening and why. Ask why the procedure is indicated, and explore potential options as well together.

This is often a place where most anxiety comes from – the lack of thorough education and factually based expectations. (*Hint: Naturopaths, we've got a great opportunity to offer additional support here :)

While each experience will be unique, knowing the facts to inform your expectations will help you better cope. Many of us fear the unknown. Communicate openly in order to reduce the amount of unknown facts, keeping in mind however that there will always be some uncertainty for individual experiences.

2. Work on building up your healthiest self!

This means ensuring you’ve got your body on it's A-Game, and ready to heal and repair. Just because you are having surgery doesn’t mean the damage is done, and there is nothing left for you to do. That's just not true!

A healthy lifestyle pre and post surgery will still be super beneficial for you as it gives your body the best chance to withstand the stress of surgery and bounce back faster.

Things you can start doing right now are ensuring you are having adequate protein intake - your body’s building blocks! You can calculate your daily requirements here.

Incorporating those friendly veggie and fruits do more than light up your taste buds! They are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – all of which are necessary for protecting and reversing damage to your cells and tissues.

If you didn’t have a reason for eating rainbows, this would be a big one!

A chance to potentially reduce complications, and decrease your time in the hospital?!

Yes please!

3. Remember to inform your doctor or nurse of all the medications you are on. This includes over the counter meds like Advil and acetaminophen, and any natural supplements and products. Report any allergies and or reactions to anesthetics. (ie. Malignant Hyperthermia can be fatal, sharing family history of this condition is crucial as it is genetic).

This will help prevent surgical complications, because nobody wants in on that. It will also help your medical team set up the operating room with your needs in mind, and prepare the appropriate medications for you.

4. Visit your friendly neighbourhood naturopath!

We’ve got an arsenal of complementary tools that can help you have a smoother experience. Modalities like pre and post acupuncture, dietary support, and homeopathy all work on strengthening your body’s resilience and innate ability to heal while reducing pain and anxiety.

Bonus Points: We are also fortunate to have the time to help you answer any questions AND help you fill in the gaps so you go in knowing what you can expect for your procedure!

If you’d like to try out or experience what this article went over, book an appointment with us today at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic today!

From all of us at W&H, we hope you get well soon <3


Adjepong, M., Agbenorku, P., Oduro, I. (2016). The role of antioxidant micronutrients in the rate of recovery of burn patients: a systematic review. Retrieved from

Chernyak, G.V., Sessler, D.I. (2005). Preoperative Acupuncture and related techniques. Retrieved from

Schuett, K. (2008). Surgery and homeopathy. Retrieved from


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the  Eternal Dreamers.

Disclaimer: Any information on this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice.

Always seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner with any questions or health concerns you may have.


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