Surgery is an invasive treatment used as a last resort when other measures have failed to provide sufficient relief. Recovery after an invasive surgery is vital in making the treatment successful; this phase can be slow, stressful, and worrisome. This calls for a proactive and professional approach. Consulting a rehabilitation professional to formulate an efficient post-operative care plan can fasten your recovery process.
The care you are given immediately after a surgical procedure is called post-operative care. Every person’s recovery process post-surgery is different. The recovery process depends on the surgery you have undergone and your medical health history and overall health. It also requires the patient’s advanced recovery preparation, including pain management, wound care, lifestyle changes, dietary needs essentials, and a suitable recuperating environment.
Patients that undergo major surgeries like brain surgery, total hip, knee replacement, or joint replacement limit mobility and cognitive capabilities. Working with trained rehabilitation professionals can significantly restore balance, coordination, or mobility using different therapies. Post-operative rehabilitation is crucial in assisting patients in regaining their strength and health and enabling them to return to everyday life. It also plays a vital role in pain management.
Postoperative care is a crucial part of your healing process. After you are discharged from the hospital, you should not over-exert your body since it can increase the risk of complications affecting the procedure that was done. You can choose to have someone at your home to care for your post-operative needs. This can be more comfortable and convenient for you as your body recovers.
Planning before surgery can help you stay organized and less stressed during your recovery. Ensure your pantry is well stocked, and buy any necessary equipment like gauze or a walker. You can also install side railings to help you avoid falls or access utilities. Consider moving to a place that has a lift or moves to a lower floor because climbing stairs can be challenging.
Post-Surgery Recovery Preparations
The first place to begin before you undergo surgery is to ask your doctor what your post-recovery phase would involve. Remember to request discharge instructions after surgery to help you prepare ahead of time.
These questions you should ask your doctor may include;
- Duration of time you will remain in the hospital
- If you would need particular supplies or medications once you are out of the hospital
- What side effects and complications should you expect
- What are the Do’s and Don’ts that will help you in the recovery journey
- How long it would take for you to resume your everyday life?
- If you will need post-operative care in a certified rehabilitation center
Seek assistance and ensure you have someone reliable to help you immediately after the post-hospitalization processes. Virtual healthcare and homecare are also available for service at home. Do not skip physiotherapy because it will take longer to recover and may lead to disability.
Make a note to follow the doctor’s instructions and guidelines to a tee when you can resume normal activities like driving, exercising, and returning to work. You may also connect with a care coach or rehabilitative professional to access the instructions at any point in their recovery.
It is important to have a diet plan consisting of enough fluids to stay hydrated and stick to a balanced diet. You can also consult a dietician for a specialized meal plan. Do not forget to take your medicines on time. Missing them can affect your recovery progress.
Tips for Incision Care
It is essential to keep your incisions dry and clean at all times. Avoid bathing for the first 24 hours. You can shower instead of bathing if you have skin tape or stitches. After taking a bath, gently pat dry the incision with a clean towel and do not rub it.
Replace bloody bandages with dry gauze or a fresh dressing. In case of bleeding, apply pressure on the wound; if it does not stop, contact your doctor immediately.
If you notice any swelling, redness spreading (more than half an inch), tenderness, heavy aches, fever, increased pain, or drainage, call your doctor or get medical assistance immediately.
Look for signs of a blood clot which may include:
- Skin feeling hot to the touch
- Pain or swelling
- Discolored skin
- Veins appearing more prominent than usual
As you recover, limit or avoid sun exposure for at least six months after surgery. This is because the sun can make your healing scars darker and more noticeable. Always wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or over and cover your scar with tape or protective clothing.
Everyone’s recovery process is different. Be patient with your body since it may take some time before you return to shape again. Do not shy off from being helped by friends and family because they can help you recover faster and get back to your feet. If your doctor insists on telling you to rest, then do it. You can ask for some time off work and do not be too hard on yourself. If you have been given the go-ahead to move around, do some light physical activities and do not exert yourself.
If you may need a caregiver if you do not have friends and family to take care of your needs doctor can also recommend a professional caregiving service or rehabilitation professional.
Post-surgery recovery takes needs patience and energy. Planning ahead of time before your surgical procedure can make things easier for you during the healing process. Do not hesitate to ask for help and follow your doctor’s instructions keenly. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed, seek professional help.
If you have any questions please contact Skin Deep.