When your doctor recommended surgery for your health issue, you most likely had countless questions about what you should expect from it. You wanted to learn everything about the procedure, and you’ve been curious how fast you can get back to your life. The healthcare specialist most likely told you that recovery time depends on a series of factors, including the type of surgery you need and your condition’s severity.
Before heading to the hospital for your surgery, take time to understand what the process implies, including how you can boost recovery at home. Pay attention to the surgeon’s pre-operative and post-operative instructions because they highly impact the outcome. Besides their recommendations, you can also use some speedy recovery tricks at home. A positive attitude and patience to allow your body to heal will get you stronger, and you’ll soon leave this health issue behind you. Before you end up watching your favourite Netflix series, you’ll be back to your normal schedule.
While you cannot control your health condition, you can make your recovery from surgery easier. It’s essential to prepare for the procedure as much as possible and ask a family member or friend to drive you home after surgery.
After the surgery, give your body the needed time to heal naturally. A balanced and nutritious diet, proper rest, and a little bit of exercising (according to your doctor’s recommendations) do wonders.
Here’s how you can speed up your post-surgery recovery.
Follow the doctor’s recommendations
You’ll hear this recommendation countless times when documenting how to care for yourself after surgery. But we cannot stress its importance enough because it’s crucial for your recovery to keep this in mind. Your doctor performed this surgery several times and cared for numerous patients during their career, so they’re qualified to provide you with post-operative recommendations. You may not feel comfortable following some rules and pieces of advice as they don’t fit your daily lifestyle, but rather than countermanding the specialists, you should listen to their instructions.
Keep up to follow up appointments
Don’t be a patient who thinks they don’t have to revisit the doctor after their surgery. Even if you’re feeling great and your surgery wound is healing well, the post-operative appointments are more than a waste of time and money. They have a role in identifying any complications or side effects.
Your doctor will want to know how you feel and if the surgery is healing well. Sometimes you may not recognise symptoms that indicate an infection until it’s too late. Your doctor will also adjust your treatment and medications during follow-up appointments according to your evolution.
You may lose your appetite after surgery because you feel constipated, nauseous, or you’re not hungry. But it’s paramount to hydrate yourself and eat a healthy diet to minimise complications, promote healing, and get over the side effects of anaesthesia.
- Reduce salt as it encourages your body to retain water. During the first days after the surgery, stick to foods low in sodium.
- Eat more protein as it has an essential role in skin repair and regrowth, wound healing, and muscle recovery. Make sure all your meals contain a good source of protein.
- Eat less sugar as it can suppress your immune system, increase fasting blood glucose levels, and trigger an imbalance in your body’s mineral levels.
Your doctor may recommend modifying your usual diet. If you need help, ask for their help because they most definitely have countless practical ideas to help you eat well until you recover.
Inspect the incision
Checking on your incision daily may not be your favourite thing to do, but it’s a necessary step during recovery because you need to make sure it heals right. Does it look pink or red? Do you notice any wound drainage? Are the staples and stitches intact? Your doctor will most likely tell you what to expect from your incision during the first days and what signs to look for to ensure there is no infection.
Preventing infection is essential during recovery as it ensures an excellent procedure outcome. Make sure to wash your hands before touching the incision because you don’t want to get any bacteria near the wound. Surgical site infections are quite rare and occur during the first three weeks of surgery. However, it would help if you asked your doctor how to care for the skin and tissue surrounding the incision to prevent infection. If you experience health issues or feel bad after the surgery, make sure to contact your doctor. Your symptoms may be normal after your surgery or point out to medical negligence. Suppose your doctor fails to explain why you have complications; see another specialist. If they reach the conclusion you’re a medical malpractice victim, claim compensation for your injuries.
Move to increase the flow of lymph fluid and circulation
Depending on the type of surgery, the doctor may recommend bed rest or walking during the first 24 hours. As you start feeling better and come back to your normal diet, you can slowly get back into your daily activities. Most doctors recommend not getting your heart rate elevated during the early stages of surgical recovery as it can impact your outcome. Therefore, you should resume walking outdoors at an average pace, not an exercise pace. Walking shouldn’t raise your heart rate, especially if your body is used to regular physical activity. Stop any activity if you experience nausea, dizziness, or fatigue.
Hydrate and rest
Ask your doctor what beverages you’re allowed to drink during the first days of recovery. Usually, you can sip water, milk, tea, diluted fruit juice, or flavoured water. Besides drinking water, you should also eat fruits rich in water content. Grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, celery, and zucchini are great hydration sources.
During the first week of recovery, your body struggles to get back to normal life, so allow it to rest. Remember that your body sees your surgery as any other trauma, acting accordingly. Sleep well and treat it with kindness until your symptoms improve.