A successful surgery is not the end of your recovery from a disease. You further need to recover from your surgery as well to resume a normal life without any risk or complication. Despite all the efforts and suggestions made by the doctor and surgeon, a few people end-up with a complicated post-surgical state due to negligence, unawareness, or a risk taking behavior. However, with little awareness and self-care you can have a smooth glide through your healing and recovery after the surgery.
Get to know in details as how you can help yourself recover fast from your surgery and be healthy soon.
A few questions to ask your doctor:
Before you are discharged from the hospital, you should ask a few questions to your doctor for better care at home and to avoid any unexpected mistake. Patient education or awareness is too crucial to aid in the healing process at home while being away from professional healthcare providers.
- What are the special supplies to carry at home when being discharged from the hospital?
- Do I need any professional care taker or physiotherapist at home?
- What are the side effects and possible post-operative complications to watch out for?
- Which food and activities should I avoid to speed-up my recovery?
- When should I resume my regular activities?
- What should I do in case of any unusual symptom or development?
Though your doctor will give you a detailed plan of recovery, there are some basic things to be followed in most types of post-surgical care at home.
#1. Stick to doctor’s instructions:
There is no point putting your brain to the guidelines provided by your doctor. If you are not allowed to lift heavy objects, asked to walk for 10 minutes, or directed to avoid stairs and bathing, there might be some reasons behind them. A doctor designs a care plan for you based on your surgery type, your body constitution, your response and others factors that are specific to you. Underestimating the guidelines can cost you a quick and complication-free recovery. If sticking to your doctor’s suggestion is causing any trouble, report that to your doctor before taking any decision on your own.
#2. Find one caregiver:
If you are alone and there is no one to take care at home, you must find a caregiver to help you out during the first few days of your surgery. You can hire a professional caregiver from any home healthcare agency and make your recovery easier. The person would help you in moving around, keeping you clean, helping you eat the meals, taking medicines and more. Stretching yourself out for these things can affect your wound and the healing process.
#3. Take care to avoid falls:
Surgery makes you weak and dizzy increasing your chances of fall and injury. Since surgery requires fasting and post-surgical medicines include a lot of pain killers, you might feel unstable while walking. So get a walker or crutches to avoid stumbling. Also, your bedroom should be close to the bathroom and it should always be lighted. Remove clutters from your path way and always wear flat slippers.
#4. Stock up the supplies and equipment:
Some kind of surgeries require special gear or equipment at home like oxygen tanks, elevated toilets, supplies for wound care, extra pillows, disposable underpads, pill organizers, gait belt, manual wheelchair etc. Ask your doctor as what all you need and plan ahead for them, so that after the surgery, you find everything handy and accessible. Also, stock up the medicines to make sure you don’t miss a single dose.
#5. Stick to the suggested diet:
Post-surgical diets are specific to conditions, like the diet after a cardiac surgery might vary from that of a gastric bypass surgery. In some cases, more protein is included in the diet while in other cases, the diet may slowly progress from liquid to semi-solid and solid diet taking a lot of time. Your doctor would suggest what best suits your recovery plan, so strictly adhere to that. For any complication, you can surely consult the doctor and get advised.
Mistakes to avoid after surgery
Going easy or careless on post-surgical care can not only delay your recovery, but can also trigger new problems bringing you back to “point 0”. It goes tough on your body while making it expensive for your time and money. Avoid the below mistakes and recover fast.
- Overdoing the things: Losing patience to walk speedily, drive a car, climb the stairs, and lifting heavy objects can cost a lot. Likewise, don’t eat everything you wish just because you are able to tolerate them. The adverse effects may show up later.
- Staying scared and sluggish: A few people think that taking more rest would help in fast healing. Actually, you need to walk and move as suggested to improve your digestion, warm-up your body, and regularize your bowel habits after the surgery. Too much sleep will only make you sluggish, fatigued, and sick.
- Interfering with medication: Most of the people stop pain medication on their own which is sometimes not good during the first few days after the surgery. Recurrence of pain can delay your recovery by interfering with your sleep, appetite and your willingness to move daily and be physically active.
- Avoiding foods and drinks: Feeling nauseated, constipated, and full after a surgery is quite normal. Still, you need to refuel your body with the right kind of foods and drinks. After all, your muscles need the food and your body needs to be hydrated. Starving your body will delay the healing process which has already suffered a lot during the surgical process.
- Resuming work faster: You might be feeling well, but this does not signal a “GO” to your work. Stretching yourself to work on laptop and cell phone in the hospital or right after coming back from hospital can be exhaustive for your body. It will give you physical and mental stress. Ask your doctor as when to resume your work.
When to reach your doctor?
Despite following all the doctor’s instructions, you might feel unwell and depressed sometimes. This is quite normal. However, if you witness any of the below symptoms, reach out to your doctor and seek suggestion.
- Continued fever
- Pain at the wound site that gets worse over time
- Pain while urinating
- Persistent nausea and vomiting
- Palpitation and racing heartbeat
Though it seems a never-ending affair, post-surgical recovery can be faster than you think. You only need to do your homework before proceeding to get operated and make appropriate arrangements at home. Following the above tips can help you recover fast and return to your regular routine safely.