One in 10 surgeries results in the patient going back to the hospital. But there’s a lot you can do to make your surgery a much better experience, to avoid some scary and entirely avoidable events, and to recover faster and with less pain—so you get back to your normal, busy life.

To help you have the most successful procedure and recovery, we’ve collected the best advice from our experts. Read the guide below…before you go into the hospital.

The Best Prep

What Not to Eat Before Surgery
Cutting back on a certain healthy nutrient improves your surgical outcomes.

Hypnosis Before Surgery Makes It Faster, Easier, Less Painful
Have less pain, nausea, fatigue and other impressive benefits you get from adding hypnosis to your prep.

Questions to Ask Before Cataract Surgery
Understand what your eyesight will be after surgery—and what your options areor you could be unhappy with your corrected vision.

Before Going to Outpatient Surgery…Read This!
What to expect—and what to guard against—when getting your procedure done at a surgical center or a doctor’s office instead of at a hospital.

7 Ways to Make Outpatient Surgery Safer
Checking your “physical status classification” and other steps to reduce the chance of dangerous complications.

Going to the Hospital for Surgery? Vitamin D May Protect Your Mind
How much of this crucial nutrient you need—and other steps hospital patients need to take—to avoid a scary but common debilitating cognitive condition.

Binaural Beats: The Secret to Staying Calm During Surgery
How to have way less anxiety during an operation where have you to stay awake.

Recover Faster

Farewell to Sponge Baths After Surgery!
Show this to your doctor if he or she says you can’t take a shower until the stitches come out.

Ice Packs: Simple, Safe, Cheap Way to Reduce Pain After Surgery
How an old-fashioned therapy can help you feel better sooner—and use 26% less narcotic pain medication.

Chewing Gum Helps Surgery Recovery
Having abdominal surgery? You might want to pack some Wrigley’s or Trident or Chiclets in your overnight bag.

Music Helps You Recover After Surgery
Have less anxiety and need much less pain medication if you listen to the right kind of music.

Same-Day Hip Surgery
How to figure out if this kind of surgery is right for you…what to expect before, after and during the procedure…risks you need to consider…and more.

Dangerous Infections That Happen Weeks After Heart Surgery
Crucial information about a dangerous—and common—infection that shows up after you’re already home.