Having a surgery implies you would have to take some time to recover after the procedure. Post surgery period is dependable on many factors, while the most important are the health condition of a patient and the seriousness of the operation.
In case your surgery has already been scheduled, or if you maybe already had a surgery and you are still in a hospital, wondering about the post-surgery period, we are here to point out to some challenges that are waiting for you and give you some tips on speeding up the recovery up a bit.
Don’t Be Afraid of a Surgery
If you are worried about your surgery and wondering how it looks like to have a surgery, calm down. You are in a condition that possibly threatens your health seriously. That means the surgery will remove the threat and make your life easier once the surgery is done, but you will have to take some time to heal.
Some people are afraid of having surgery as they don’t know what is it like to have one. Once your doctor schedules a surgery, you will probably get advice how to prepare yourself in the right way. For example, some people are not allowed to eat a day before their surgery.
The usual procedure when we talk about a surgery goes like this:
• After your arrival at the hospital, you would go to a change room and put on a gown,
• At some point, a nurse will come to you and place an IV needle in your arm,
• After the IV narcotic painkiller works, they will take you to another hospital area,
• You will be transferred to another area of the hospital and put a plastic mask on your nose,
• The mask will put you in a deep sleep so you would already be unconscious for some time before the surgery beings,
• No matter of the length of the surgery process, you will feel nothing,
• Next second, you will wake up a bit groggy and intoxicated, but the anesthesia will weaken within a couple of minutes,
• Some patients are kept in the hospital for a day or two after the surgery, while others, especially those will relatively minor surgeries, go home same day,
• The second category might not feel any pain at all, while patients who had a bit more severe surgery will get narcotic painkillers.
As you can see, the procedure is very simple. All you should do is to have faith, trust your surgeon, and be calm. Everything will be okay – you will get rid of a problem that bothered you for some time. What a relief!
Tips On Post-surgery Period
We suppose some of you will be impatient when the surgery is done. Life is waiting for you, but you should still take care of yourself as your wound is fresh and the condition you are in puts you through some challenges.
Maybe you though in the beginning that it would be best to lay in your bed and let the body heal naturally. However, once we start feeling a bit better, we instinctively want to get up and get back to normal life and our activities.
Still, we should take some precaution measurements before returning to routine. The best way to do so is to follow up some of the tips that will help your body recovers and heal faster.
1. Doctor’s instructions and following-up appointments
Even though this tip seems like something obvious and normal, some patients somehow disregard the fact their doctor is familiar with their condition before surgery and knows best what would be best for them after surgery.
If your doctor advises you not to take baths, lift heavy things, or not to go swimming – listen to him, as there is a reason why he is telling you this. Surgeons know what does it take to heal properly and which medicines to take during recovery and that is another reason why you should follow-up with the appointments.
2. Take a look at your incision
In the meantime, between appointments with your surgeon, you can check on your incision if it is visible. We know this might be a bit unpleasant or nauseous to you, but this is an additional tip on helping yourself.
We will stress out how important it is to keep track of the incisions, especially not visible ones. If blood is not working properly, a patient might get an infection, which is impossible to suppose if you are not seeing your surgeon.
What you can do about an open incision is to never touch it before you wash your hands. Preventing infection will help your wound heal faster.
Post-surgery incisions have a different color, so you should check on the color of your incision (pink or red), drainage color, check on stitches and staples. These indicators will tell you with certainty if your incision was infected or it heals.
3. Proper diet
Some people refuse food after having surgery. However, post surgery process requires for a patient to stay hydrated and to take enough vitamins and healthy food as these help with healing and prevent side effects of anesthesia.
Food is like a fuel to your body and your body need some additional support in the post-surgery process.
As you want to reduce swelling and water retention, stay away from too salty food. Salt and sodium retain water in your body, which means – less salt and no sports drink at all.
Sugars increase blood glucose and you already know how important it is to keep your blood clean. On the other side, sugar might also disrupt your immune system’s functions and postpone healing for some more time.
Some patients feel nausea and get bloated in the post-surgery period, so it would be best to eat smaller meals a couple of times during the day. This will give you enough energy but won’t make you feel bloated or sick.
When it comes to food that does magic with wounds and incisions, we are talking about proteins here. It would be best to include some protein in every meal during the day, as proteins fasten up healing and post-surgery process by re-growth and strengthening muscles and skin.
We mentioned you should stick to medications and drugs your doctor prescribed, but these will definitely induce the level of bacteria in your body. That is why you should fight them by consuming quality and fresh probiotic.
4. Stay hydrated
Water is your friend when it comes to the post-surgery process and recovery. Drink at least 2 liters water a day, but you still can cheat a bit.
If you can’t stay away from flavored drinks, then go for tea as many of them are great for medicinal purposes, flavored water, skim milk, or diluted fruit juice.
Watermelons, strawberries, celery, grapefruit, and zucchini are highly recommended as these contain a high degree of water and are full of vitamins.
5. Stay active as much as you can
You might be in pain, but it is important to notice that you should go back to light physical activities, such as walking. We already mentioned your surgeon will maybe suggest avoiding some activities, but walking is generally recommended activity.
You should walk for 10 to 20 minutes a day in order not to raise your heart rate. In case you start feeling dizziness, fatigue, or nausea, take a break and get back to your home.
Why is it good for you to walk? Some patients are prone to getting deep vein thrombosis or pneumonia during the post-surgery process. Walking will affect your circulation positively and keep your lymph fluid.
In case your surgeon recommended walking or taking some daily activities, but you feel insecure to do this alone, there is always an option. You can ask someone of your family and friends to help you until you feel fully mobile again.
On the other side, if you live alone or would like to this by yourself, you can get a device that will help you with walking and provide you enough support (rollator walker, walking stick, tripod, crunch, etc.).
6. Listen to your body
Even though light physical activity is recommended for some patients, the other should make a pause for some time and give their bodies enough time. You need no one to tell you when it is the right time to get up and get back to “normal” life.
Your organism has specific needs, so do whatever feels like best at that moment – eat, sleep, listen to music, drink, sit, etc. The great news is that you don’t have to spend all the time in your home.
Thanks to numerous devices such as a mobility scooter or a wheelchair, you can go out and take a deep breath of fresh air. You probably miss going to park, shopping center, walking by a river, so don’t miss a chance to do any of your favorite activities with a help of any mobility device.
As you can see, recovery is not a complicated thing if you follow these pretty simple steps. It is completely normal to take some time to heal and give your body enough energy during this phase.
Of course, your healing depends on many factors, but whatever time it takes – stay calm and patient as you want to be healthy and feel good. Don’t rush things, listen to your body, and accept help – this is a recipe for the post-surgery process.