Just Had Surgery? 4 Strategies For A Safe And Quick Recovery

Even a relatively minor procedure can take quite a toll on your body, and patients who fail to follow their aftercare instructions run the risk of serious postoperative complications. What starts off as minor aches and pains can quickly turn into painful infections and chronic health issues that will require additional treatments. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your recovery as quick and pain-free as possible.


Prepare Your Home Early

Your family should be ready for your recovery period well before the day of your procedure. No one wants to get home only to realize that they need an electric wheelchair scooter, angled pillows, or other specialty equipment. During your initial consultation with your surgical team, you should ask for a full list of any items you will need in the days following the procedure. You will need to have a comfortable place to rest throughout the day with easy access to food, water, and a restroom. Your surgical team might also give you instructions on what positions you must sleep in and how often you should move around.

Don’t Neglect Your Diet

Many patients immediately turn to their comfort foods after a procedure, but that can wreak havoc on their health. While the occasional treat is generally not that big of a deal, you must make an effort to limit your intake of processed foods. A healthy post-op diet should be filled with fresh produce, lean protein sources, and whole grains. Protein is especially important because it enables your body to heal itself. You might also want to consider taking a multivitamin to prevent any deficiencies during your recovery. Failing to consume enough vitamin C and iron will not only affect your energy levels, but it will have a negative impact on your immune system as well.


Don’t Skip Your Appointments

Just because you are feeling slightly better does not mean that you are in the clear. In many cases, doctors must look for very specific signs that your body is healing correctly and the surgery went as intended. Depending on what type of surgery was carried out, you will most likely need to schedule two to three additional appointments over the course of a few weeks. Those who purposefully or accidentally skip their appointments will put their health and future at risk. Your doctor might need to carry out additional steps such as cleaning your wounds, removing stitches, or altering your medication.


Slowly Build Your Strength

As you slowly overcome the side effects of your procedure, you need to focus on rebuilding your strength in a slow and safe manner. The vast majority of patients should begin walking within just a few days of any procedure. However, it’s important that you understand just how much exercise is necessary and you don’t overdo it and further injure yourself or rip open any wounds. It might be a good idea to get a walker, wheelchair, or electric wheelchair scooter to assist in helping you be independent while you recover. Working with your doctor, slowly ease back into a regular routine and amount of physical exercise. Gently wandering around your home will improve your blood flow and reduce your risk of a blood clot. After you are comfortable walking around on your own, you can then try very light activities such as rinsing off or making a small meal for yourself. During your final appointment with your doctor, you will be given more information on when you can head back to work and carry out more rigorous activities.

Your body will be in a state of shock in the days following your procedure, and you must do everything in your power to avoid dangerous complications. Patients who have noticed any unusual issues with their surgery scars or general health should immediately head to the emergency room. While post-op infections are relatively rare, they should never be taken lightly. You must keep an eye out for unusual side effects such as a high fever, migraines, insomnia, cold sweats, and nausea.

Emma Sturgis

View posts by Emma Sturgis
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. For eye care professionals Emma recommends All About Eyes. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2

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