Necessary Actions to Take After Every Operation
Surgery is not what anyone ever hopes for, but things happen, things we can’t control, unexpected things. It could be an accident, a severe injury, disease, or any chronic health condition that may require surgery to go back to a normal and healthy life. Most patients focus on how they will have a successful surgical operation without giving much attention to how they will deal with recovery after the surgery. This recovery aspect may not be so easy if you don’t follow the right steps. Not minding how major or minor the surgery may be, not doing the right thing after surgery may expose you to more significant risks like pain, swelling, too much bleeding, infection, etc.
Surgeons always give patients detailed instructions on what and what not to do after their surgical procedure, but many forget it too soon, while some follow the only one they felt is essential and ignore the rest. Once they feel a little better, they jump right back to work, doing too much too soon, which can actually delay or take them right back to the beginning of their recovery.
As a patient who just had surgery, your health and well being should be your first priority, not anything else. Your recovery may take about 10-12 weeks, depending on the type of surgery and nature of your body. Along with your surgeon instruction, these are what you should do to recover fast and become healthy after surgery:
Give Yourself a Break
After surgery, no patients should engage in any stressful activities above the surgeon’s instructions. Wait till when the surgeon cleared you on doing certain things before you start doing it, and when you start doing it, don’t overdo it. Don’t do too much too soon. You may think going back to work won’t affect you in any way because you are feeling better, but you may be wrong. Going back to work may expose you to many dangers and complications that can slow down your recovery.
Give yourself a break; it is an issue if you get active too soon. If you are bored, you can listen to music, read a book, and watch a movie. Don’t take part in lifting anything more substantial than 10 pounds for about 4-6 weeks or driving a car. You will not do your incision any good by moving around aggressively and engaging in any activities that can disrupt your wound. Your doctor will recommend when it is okay to start exercising your body.
Follow the Surgeon Guidelines
Almost all the instructions that will be given to you by your surgeon will later seem unnecessary or silly when you are getting better, so ignoring them may be so easy for you to do, but don’t ever make that mistake. Every details and guideline given to you has their own genuine reasons and roles to play on your recovery, not following them is absolutely a bad idea if you want to recover fast.
If your surgeon told you not to drive, lift something more substantial than 10 pounds or swim for the first 4 weeks after your surgical procedure, then stick to the four weeks nothing less. Don’t attempt to do more than what you are instructed, even if you feel better or full of energy. Feeling better for some moment is different from getting wholly recovered back to normal. If you feel better physically with no pain, that doesn’t mean some internal healing is still not taking place. Follow every detail and take note of all your doctor’s instructions to increase your chance of healing fast.
Eat and Drink What Can Help Your Healing
Most of the time, your surgery’s healing and recovery time have a lot to do with what you are eating and drinking after the surgery. Good food can practically promote your healing and gives your muscle the energy needed for recovery. Your incision will repair faster and more energetic if there are enough nutrients in your body. Make sure you start eating something after or at least 2 days after your surgery even when you don’t feel like eating. Your body needs a proper diet that is rich in nutrients like:
- Protein helps rebuild and boost your immune system to help your body heal fast and fight against infection—food like beans, eggs, chicken, meat, etc.
- Iron – that helps bone marrow produce more red blood cells to fuel your recovery. Food like baked potatoes, cashews, spinach, etc
- Vitamin C – that helps the body make collagen to have healthy connective tissue. Eat enough fruit and food like vegetables, oranges, berries, etc.
- Calcium – that makes the bone strong to give your body strength needed for recovery. Food like milk or any other dairy foods, nuts, etc
As you are taking good food to promote your health after surgery, make sure you are also avoiding food or drinks toxic to your health. Don’t eat or drink anything with excessive sugar, salt, or alcohol, which can reduce or destroy your body nutrient and slow down your recovery.
Cough and Sneeze with Care
There is a way you sneeze and cough after surgery, not the usual way because it may cause harm to your incision. When you feel like coughing or sneezing after surgery, don’t do it with too much aggression, do it gently with care, and make sure you place your hand or something soft like a pillow on the spot of your incision to reduce the pressure. That does not mean you should be afraid of coughing or sneezing after surgery. In fact, coughing is something you should consider frequently doing to prevent pneumonia and clear the lungs, but when you are doing it, do it gently with care.
Keep Your Doctor’s Appointments
Keeping your doctor after operation appointments is very important even when you are feeling better. Many people see it as a waste of time and money because they are already recovering, but that is totally a wrong decision. If you don’t keep your appointments, there is no way your doctor will check or know how you feel or if there is a possibility of you having complications. By continuing your appointment, you will be getting frequent instruction on how you can get better faster and with excellent medical care.
Inspect and Take Care of Your Incision
The one thing that needs your attention and cares more than anything else after your surgery is your incision. For you to reduce the risk of your incision getting infected and minimize scarring, you need to frequently inspect and take care of it. Make sure you follow all your doctor’s instructions on how you can take care and keep your incision clean.
Change your incision dressing as you are instructed and do not scrub your incision or remove the stitches, tapes or staples used to close the incision until you are told to. Do not expose your incision directly to sunlight and inspect it every day to know if you are getting any sign of infection.
Gently wash your incision with water and soap but don’t soak the wound too much in the water. Dry it with a clean, dry towel after washing and don’t apply any kind of powder, lotion, or alcohol to your incision’s surface. Ask for help from your health caregiver if you notice any complication or infection.
Use Your Medication
After surgery, your doctor will prescribe the proper medication to help you control pain and recover fast. There should not be any cause for you not to use your medication because it will help you manage the pain and do a lot more than not using it. But make sure to follow the prescription while using your medicine. Don’t use more or less than what is prescribed to you by your doctor. Using a pain control medication doesn’t mean you won’t have pain at all to make it clear. It only helps to reduce pain and allow you to engage in the little activities your doctor advise you to engage in.
Above all, don’t neglect physical activities if you have been given the go-ahead to engage in them. Your doctor will recommend when you should resume your normal activities and move around. Get back into it with ease, and don’t overdo it. It is also quite essential to know when to rest and get back on track. The important part is for you to follow your doctor’s instructions, take your medications as prescribed, watch out for any complications and don’t skip your appointment to enable you to get back to routine faster.