what to say to someone before surgery
Life Tips

What to Say to Someone Before Surgery for Comfort

As the moment of surgery approaches, the weight of emotions can be overwhelming. Knowing exactly what to say to someone before surgery is a delicate art, one that requires empathy, reassurance, and genuine care.

In this article, we delve into the realm of pre-surgery conversations, exploring the ways in which our words can provide solace and courage. Discover how a few well-chosen phrases can make a world of difference for those embarking on this transformative journey.

What to Say to Someone Before a Major Surgery

1. Acknowledging Their Feelings

Acknowledging Their Feelings


Recognizing the emotional turbulence before surgery is a vital first step. Express empathy through phrases like “I can only imagine how you might be feeling right now.” Normalize their emotions with affirmations such as “Feeling anxious before surgery is quite common; your feelings are completely valid.”

Create a space for openness by saying “It’s okay to have some nervousness; it’s a big step you’re taking.” Remember, acknowledging their feelings validates their experience and lays the foundation for a supportive conversation.


  • “I understand that this can be overwhelming, and it’s okay to express your fears.”
  • “You’re facing something significant, and it’s natural to have a range of emotions.”
  • “Your feelings are a testament to how much you care about your well-being.”
  • “Remember, your feelings are valid indicators of your inner strength and resilience.”
  • “Feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness is a testament to the importance of this step.”
  • “There’s no ‘right’ way to feel right now; your emotions are uniquely yours.”
  • “Fear and anticipation are both valid reactions; you’re not alone in feeling this way.”
  • “Your emotions are a reflection of how much you value your health; they’re a natural response.”
  • “It’s okay if your emotions are a bit overwhelming; it’s a lot to process.”
  • “Feeling a mix of emotions is entirely expected; your body and mind are preparing for an important event.”

2. Offering Reassurance

Building confidence in the medical team is crucial. Use phrases like “You’re in the care of a team that specializes in this procedure; you’re safe” to emphasize their expertise. Reinforce trust by saying “Trust that the medical professionals have your well-being as their top priority.”

Mention that the medical team has successfully performed the surgery before with “The medical team has successfully performed this surgery many times before.” These reassurances underscore the reliability of the medical team and the positive outcomes they have achieved.


  • “The doctors who will be taking care of you are experts in their field.”
  • “The expertise of the medical team gives us every reason to be optimistic.”
  • “Rest assured that the doctors have a track record of positive outcomes.”
  • “Your well-being is the top priority, and the medical team’s expertise ensures that.”
  • “The surgical team’s experience and knowledge are your strongest allies.”
  • “You’re under the care of professionals who excel in their respective fields.”
  • “The medical team’s capabilities instill confidence that you’re in the right place for your care.”
  • “The medical team’s reputation for excellence speaks volumes about the care you’ll receive.”
  • “The doctors’ experience lends a reassuring touch to your journey; you’re in safe hands.”
  • “Your health is entrusted to professionals who have a history of delivering successful outcomes.”

3. Expressing Your Support

Expressing Your Support

Letting them know you’re there unconditionally is vital. Use phrases like “I’ll be here throughout your journey, from preparations to recovery” to demonstrate your unwavering presence. Express availability with “Lean on me for whatever you need; you’re not alone.”

Convey partnership by saying “Consider me your partner in getting through this.” These statements emphasize that your support is constant and extends to all aspects of their journey.


  • “Your well-being is my priority; I’ll support you in any way I can.”
  • “From the moment you decide, I’ll be here to support your choices.”
  • “Whenever you need to talk, vent, or simply be, I’m just a call away.”
  • “Your journey is important to me, and I’ll stand by you every step of the way.”
  • “Through thick and thin, I’ll be here to offer a listening ear and a helping hand.”
  • “Your path might be uncertain, but my commitment to you is unwavering.”
  • “No matter what lies ahead, know that I’m fully behind you.”
  • “I’m here as your anchor, providing steadiness in the face of uncertainty.”
  • “From pre-surgery jitters to post-surgery recovery, count on me to be by your side.”
  • “Let’s face this together, drawing strength from one another’s presence.”

4. Focusing on Positivity

Shifting their focus towards a positive outcome is encouraging. Use phrases like “Imagine how much better you’ll feel after the surgery” to highlight the transformative potential. Instill hope with “This is a step toward a healthier, happier you.”

Paint a picture of brighter days by saying “Think about how much better you’ll feel once this is all behind you.” These statements remind them of the positive changes they’re working towards.


  • “Each day brings you closer to a better version of yourself; keep your eyes on that.”
  • “Visualize the improved quality of life that awaits you after this challenge.”
  • “Your resilience and strength will lead you to a brighter and healthier future.”
  • “After this surgery, you’ll be equipped to face life’s adventures with renewed vigor.”
  • “This is a temporary step toward a lifetime of improved well-being.”
  • “Envision the new opportunities and experiences that will come your way post-surgery.”
  • “The road to recovery might have its ups and downs, but it’s leading to a happier you.”
  • “You’re on the path to a better version of yourself; your courage will see you through.”
  • “With each step of recovery, you’re writing a story of triumph over adversity.”
  • “Even though challenges lie ahead, keep your focus on the positivity that lies beyond.”

5. Sharing Personal Stories

Sharing Personal Stories

Personal stories can offer insight and reassurance. Relate anecdotes like “I knew someone who came out stronger from a similar surgery” to provide a sense of hope. Mentioning “You have the strength to make this journey your own success story” affirms their resilience.

By saying “Let me share with you a story of triumph that I came across,” you provide an external source of inspiration that may help ease their worries.


  • “I’ve seen firsthand how surgery transformed someone’s life for the better.”
  • “A friend of mine had a similar surgery and found newfound vitality afterward.”
  • “Stories like these show that recovery is possible, and you have the resilience to get through it.”
  • “Similar journeys have led to stories of triumph; yours can be one too.”
  • “Personal stories reveal the potential for growth and strength after such surgeries.”
  • “Let me share a story that showcases the positive impact surgery can have on your life.”
  • “I remember hearing about someone who embraced the recovery journey with determination.”
  • “You’re not alone; many have walked a similar path and emerged even stronger.”
  • “Just as others have navigated this path, so too can you emerge victorious.”
  • “The journey you’re embarking on holds the promise of a brighter future, just like others’ stories have shown.”

6. Offering Distractions

Providing distractions can lighten their mental load. Suggest activities like “Let’s watch a movie you love the night before to relax” to offer a pleasurable diversion. Encourage engagement with “Engaging in a hobby you enjoy can provide a healthy distraction” to shift their focus.

By saying “Would you like to explore a new book or podcast to keep your mind occupied,” you propose an avenue for mental escape during a stressful time.


  • “Engaging in creative activities like drawing or painting could help ease your mind.”
  • “How about we have a virtual game night with friends to lift your spirits?”
  • “Listening to uplifting music can provide a much-needed mental break.”
  • “Perhaps revisiting your favorite book series could be a pleasant way to pass the time.”
  • “Consider taking up a craft or DIY project to channel your energy and thoughts.”
  • “Engaging in a mindfulness practice, like meditation or deep breathing, can bring tranquility.”
  • “Exploring a new TV series or documentary might offer a refreshing change of pace.”
  • “Let’s embark on a virtual tour of museums or travel destinations you’ve always wanted to see.”
  • “Would you be interested in learning a new skill or taking an online course to keep your mind occupied?”
  • “How about joining an online community related to a hobby you enjoy, providing a sense of connection?”

7. Respect Their Coping Mechanisms

Respect Their Coping Mechanisms

Everyone copes differently, so respecting their approach is crucial. Saying “Whether you want to talk or have quiet time, I’m here” respects their need for space. Show understanding with “Your well-being matters; let me know how I can best support you.”

By adding “Your comfort is my priority; I’m here to accommodate your preferences,” you assure them of your flexibility. Make it clear that “Your coping strategy is respected; I’m here to support you without judgment.”


  • “Feel free to express your needs; whether you want to talk or just be, I’m here.”
  • “Your preferred way of coping is important; I’m here to support you on your terms.”
  • “I respect your space; know that I’m just a call away whenever you’re ready.”
  • “Your comfort matters; let me know how I can be of help during this time.”
  • “Whether you seek solace in solitude or prefer company, I’m here to honor your choice.”
  • “Your emotional well-being guides our interactions; let me know how you’d like to proceed.”
  • “Your coping mechanisms are unique; I’m here to offer support tailored to your needs.”
  • “Your preferences are respected; I’ll be here whenever you’re ready to talk or spend time together.”
  • “Take all the time you need; I’m here to accommodate your comfort and needs.”
  • “Supporting you is my priority; I’m here to provide whatever form of companionship you prefer.”

8. Sending Well-Wishes

Sending well-wishes can provide a boost of positive energy. Phrases like “Sending strength for your surgery day; you’ve got this!” convey encouragement. Offer a sentiment of hope with “Wishing you a successful surgery and a swift recovery.”

Express that you’re holding space for them with “In my thoughts and prayers, I’m holding space for your well-being and comfort.” These messages bridge physical distance and communicate your care and support.


  • “May your surgery day be filled with hope and the knowledge that you’re cared for deeply.”
  • “Warm thoughts and positive energy are coming your way as you approach your surgery.”
  • “Wishing you strength and resilience as you take this step toward better health.”
  • “Sending you all the positivity and courage you need for a successful surgery and recovery.”
  • “In my thoughts, I’m sending you strength and comfort as you prepare for your surgery.”
  • “May your surgery day be marked by a sense of calm and the support of those who care about you.”
  • “Thinking of you and sending well-wishes for a smooth and successful surgery.”
  • “Sending you healing thoughts and the promise of brighter days ahead.”
  • “With every good wish for your surgery, know that you have a network of well-wishers cheering you on.”
  • “While we may be physically apart, my thoughts and well-wishes are with you on this journey.”

9. Reassure Them About the Recovery Process

Reassure Them About the Recovery Process

Assuring them about the recovery journey is key. Offer a perspective with phrases like “Each day of recovery brings you closer to feeling better” to emphasize gradual progress. Say “Take recovery one day at a time; each day brings you closer to regaining your normal routine” to foster patience.

Remind them that “Even on challenging days, your body is healing and getting stronger,” inspiring hope. These assurances underline the resilience of the human body and the steady strides toward wellness.


  • “Progress might be slow, but remember that every step is a step forward.”
  • “Recovery is a journey, and each day is a victory; even small progress counts.”
  • “Embrace each day of recovery as an opportunity to become stronger and more resilient.”
  • “Your body’s resilience is a testament to its ability to heal and recover.”
  • “Through the ups and downs, remember that you’re steadily moving toward better days.”
  • “Patience is your ally; your body is working diligently to bring you back to full health.”
  • “Recovery may have its challenges, but each obstacle is a stepping stone to your well-being.”
  • “Just as each sunrise brings a new day, each day of recovery brings you closer to wellness.”
  • “Your strength is evident in the progress you make with every passing day of recovery.”
  • “Your body’s healing process is a testament to its remarkable ability to mend and rejuvenate.”

Words You Shouldn’t Say

Words You Shouldn't Say

While well-intentioned, it’s essential to be mindful of the impact our words can have. Avoid phrases that may inadvertently cause distress, like “I heard about a surgery gone wrong once.” Steer clear of minimizing their emotions with “You’ll be fine; don’t worry.”

Also, refrain from sharing negative experiences such as “My aunt had a similar surgery and had a terrible time.” Instead of saying “I’m sure you’re overreacting,” show empathy by acknowledging their feelings and concerns.


  • “I heard about a surgery gone wrong once; try not to dwell on it.”
  • “You’re being too anxious; it’s a routine procedure.”
  • “My friend’s surgery was a disaster; hope yours goes better.”
  • “I know someone who never fully recovered from a surgery like this.”
  • “You’re worrying too much; it’s not as big a deal as you think.”
  • “Just think positive thoughts; that’s all you need to do.”
  • “It’s just a surgery; people have been through worse.”
  • “You’ll be fine; don’t worry about it.”
  • “Why are you making such a fuss about this?”
  • “I’m sure you’re overreacting; it’s not that bad.”


In the crucial moments before surgery, the right words can be a lifeline of comfort. Knowing what to say to someone before surgery goes beyond just uttering phrases; it’s about kindling hope, offering reassurance, and demonstrating unwavering support.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.