What to Say to Someone Before Surgery: 7 Encouraging Wishes

Any medical procedure can make us feel apprehensive. When someone is getting surgery, they may feel all sorts of fear and anxiety. You want to comfort them and provide them strength, but what are the best things to say? 

We asked our CaringBridge community how to encourage someone who is going through surgery. You can use these phrases to reassure your loved ones who are about to enter the operating room.  

1. “We’re in this together, I’m with you.”

Pictured is Courtney Lamb and her son, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

When someone is getting surgery, they may feel like they’re going through it by themselves. Remind them that you’re by their side to make them feel less anxious. You’ll give them a dose of comfort and a sense of togetherness.

“Rest, day to day, we’ll get through this together. Love you!”

Ruth O.

2. “Take your time to rest and recover.” 

Post-op patients might rush to get back on the horse. Encourage your loved one to take time to heal and remind them that rest is indeed productive. Validating their need to recover will ease their restlessness. 

“Time will heal. Give yourself time to chill.”

Christina W. 

3. “I’m here to help.” 

You can be of service and offer to tend to their needs. Express that you’re there to support them, whether it’s through running errands, handling the chores, or simply checking in each day. 

On another note, they may feel inadequate after a procedure because they can’t go back to their normal routine just yet. Remind them that it’s okay to accept help and that they’re deserving of support.

To help organize and delegate daily tasks as your loved one heals, consider using the CaringBridge Planner. This is an all-inclusive scheduling tool to help you request and receive support with everyday tasks. The CaringBridge Planner is a great way to include friends and family who’d like to lend a hand, all while taking some items off your loved one’s plate.

“What can I do for you on this healing journey?”

Kazia R. 

Don’t go through your health journey alone

You can stay connected to friends and family, plan and coordinate meals, and experience love from any distance.

All of this is ready for you when you start your personal CaringBridge site, which is completely free of charge, ad-free, private and secure. Don’t spend another minute alone!

4. “You’re in great hands.” 

Pictured is the O’Donnell family, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

Surgery can be scary. You can provide reassurance by affirming your trust in the care team. Show that you have confidence that the surgeons will do a great job. This will ease the worry of your loved one, and calm the apprehension they’re feeling.

“Say positive words & believe in the care team to support the patient.”

Paula B.P. 

5. “You’re so strong, you’re doing an amazing job.”

We can feel at our most vulnerable when we’re lying in a hospital bed. But really, we’re at our most courageous when we’re doing something scary. Open your loved one’s heart to their own bravery and remind them of their courage, both before and after surgery.

“Be there for meal time & encourage dining. ‘Wow, this plate is not only nutritious, but a tribute to the Chef!’ Say positive words and believe in the care team to support the patient.”

Paula B.P. 

6. “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” 

When you tell someone you’re thinking of them, you’re showing you care. Share your sentiments and let them know you’re holding them in your heart. You can also extend them prayers, which you can do right by their bedside or on your own time.


“Thoughts and prayers are with you and if you need anything don’t hesitate to call!”

Diane L.P.

“I will pray for you now.” 

Kay F. 

7. “I love you.” 

Expressing your love to someone is like giving oxygen to their spirit. It shows how much you cherish them and will give them the strength to keep moving forward. When someone is getting surgery, be emotionally present. Declaring your love will help them feel cared for and appreciated.

What Words Encourage You?

Has someone offered you comforting words that gave you strength when you faced difficult circumstances? What do you like to say to a loved one going through a tough time? Feel free to comment your ideas below and share your stories with the CaringBridge community.

  • Sharon Whittington

    Wishing you warrior strength. You are in our prayers.

  • Pat Thibado

    Many times, the person going through a procedure is not only concerned about themselves, but also about their loved ones closest to them. It is a great diversionary defense tactic but also can lead to further anxiety and emotional burden. In such times it often helps the patient to ease those concerns by letting them know that you are also thinking of the loved ones and will do whatever you are able to make sure that the loved ones and family will be looked after. Give encouragement that while the patient is healing and getting their strength back, you will make sure they are _________. Fill in the blank with your special help such as; fed, kept warm or cool and comfortable, shopped for, cleaned up after, tended to while others visit (children or special needs persons), taken to appointments or church, exercised with, reminded of THEIR needs, getting the bills paid, whatever may concern the patient and ease their concerns so they can better concentrate on their own physical and mental healing. Always be mindful of the fact that the loved ones are in pain and need support and the patient is aware of this and worries.