15 Important Things to Do While Recovering From Surgery

Are you worried about how you will handle recovery after surgery?

This can be challenging to manage. You have to find ways to stay healthy, keep your body from breaking down, and recover from a recent operation. It tends to be a distressing time for some individuals.

Worrying about it can even cause you to experience more pain. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare when you can. You’ll find that by preparing for recovery ahead of time, you’ll have a smoother experience.

Want to learn more about things to do while recovering from surgery? Keep reading to learn more.

1. Eat Nutritious Meals

Eating nutritious meals is one of the most important things that you can do while recovering from surgery. This will help your body heal and regain strength, as well as increase your energy levels.

Eating a balanced combination of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals can help ensure that your body has everything it needs to heal. Keeping a balanced diet and getting enough nutrition is key for a full and successful recovery from surgery.

2. Take Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamins and supplements help replenish nutrient stores that may have been depleted during surgery. Taking certain vitamins and supplements can help speed up the healing process. For example, vitamin C is an important nutrient that has been shown to boost the immune system and may help reduce inflammation.

Other vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and iron, can also help heal wounds and supply the body with vital nutrients that it may have lost due to the surgery. Certain supplements, such as fish oil or turmeric, can also help with inflammation and wound healing. Taking vitamins and supplements while recovering from surgery can help the healing process and should not be overlooked.

3. Follow the Instructions Given by Your Doctor

This is because doctors and physical therapists are knowledgeable health professionals who understand the best path to recovery and will know what restrictions and activities are acceptable to drive recovery forward. It is also important not to rush your recovery as this could delay the healing process. Connecting with your doctor and physical therapist is key to recovering from surgery.

4. Rest as Much as Possible

Resting helps to speed up healing and reduce stress on the body. It is also important to create a comfortable environment that promotes relaxation.

A quiet room with plenty of pillows, blankets, and a dim light is ideal. Make sure to take naps throughout the day and set a regular bedtime to ensure that you get adequate rest. 

5. Avoid Strenuous Activity

Engaging in strenuous activities too soon after the surgery can put too much strain on the healing body and delay the recovery process. It can also cause the body to break down tissues or create more of a need for extra surgery following the first.

It is best to discuss with the health care provider when it is appropriate to begin exercising or move on to other more strenuous activities. It is best to wait until guidance is provided from a healthcare provider to begin a more strenuous routine following surgery.

6. Talk to Your Doctor Regarding Questions You Have

It is important to consult with the medical professional about any questions you have about your progress. Doing so is important because it will allow you to adjust and tailor your post-surgery lifestyle to ensure the safest and quickest healing.

Having these open conversations with your doctor helps to provide peace of mind because you will be better informed of any potential complications that can arise and how to respond to them. Moreover, talking to your doctor about any questions you have will guarantee that, should any issues arise during your recovery, they know that you’re serious and want the best care for your health. 

7. Take Any Prescribed Medication as Directed

Following the medications prescribed by your doctor will help your body heal in the most efficient way possible. It is important to always take a full prescription and not skip any doses as this can impact the healing process.

Always read the labels for any potential side effects and follow up with your doctor if you experience any. Never take any medication that you were not prescribed and always speak to your doctor if you have any questions about the medications prescribed. 

8. Stay Hydrated

Drinking fluids will help to keep your blood electrolytes balanced, which helps to reduce the risk of infection. It can also help to prevent dehydration, which can cause weakness, fatigue, and other uncomfortable symptoms. It is important to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water or other electrolyte-enriched fluids each day during your recovery. 

9. Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes

This includes selecting clothing that is loose-fitting, soft, and breathable. Softer fabrics, like cotton and linen, are better choices than polyester and denim. It’s also a good idea to avoid any items that include zippers, snaps, or buttons since they can increase discomfort and pain.

Having a pair of soft supportive shoes is essential for protecting your feet and allowing you to move around with ease. It is important to remember that comfort should always be prioritized over fashion. Always choose your health and recovery first!

10. Stay Away From Smoking or Tobacco Products

Tobacco use can increase a person’s risk for complications, as chemical components in these products can inhibit wound healing. Smoking can also impair the blood vessels in the area of the surgery, reducing circulation, which can lead to infection.

This can further lead to inflammation and increase the risk of clotting. Replacing smoking habits, healthy habits such as regular exercise, and an improved diet work better to reduce stress and anxiety without the risk of compromising surgical site healing.

11. Avoid Lying in a Single Position for Long periods

This helps prevent pressure ulcers from forming, which can be detrimental to the healing process. To cut the risk, frequent changes in position are recommended along with the use of pillows or special mattresses to provide support.

Additionally, patients should try to avoid aggressive turning or positioning of the affected body part as this could lead to complications. Elevation of the injured part can also help reduce swelling and pain.

Furthermore, avoiding sitting or standing for long periods can help prevent extra stress on the affected area. Continual small adjustments in position and the use of gentle positioning are recommended during the healing process.

12. Receive Assistance From Family and Friends

One of the most important things to do while recovering from surgery is to receive help from family and friends. Having people close to you help you throughout the recovery process can make a huge difference. Rehabilitation services consist of many elements including physical therapy, which can be physically and mentally taxing on the individual.

Having extra support from family and friends can help motivate and encourage their loved ones to complete the rehab process and stay positive throughout. Receiving help can also include practical things such as getting meals and groceries, doing housework, or doing errands. All these tasks can be delegated to trusted loved ones so the individual can rest and focus on their rehabilitation. 

13. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise helps to reduce swelling, keep your muscles strong, and reduce the risk of infection. It can also help in reducing pain caused by surgery and improve healing time. When beginning to exercise again after surgery, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase your activity level as tolerated.

You should consult with your doctor or physical therapist before any type of strenuous activity. Exercise helps to prevent blood clots and helps to keep the body healthy throughout the recovery process. Low-impact exercises, such as walking, are recommended until the surgical area has healed. 

14. Pay Attention to Signs of Infection and Complications

Infection is one of the most common risks after surgery, and it could be contracted in the hospital, at home, or even when you return to work. It can be life-threatening and can cause a delay in your recovery time. Symptoms of infection include redness, swelling, fever, chills, and changes in pain.

It is important to report any of these symptoms to your doctor right away. Complications can also develop after surgery.

These can range from minor issues such as bruising and swelling to serious problems like blood clots. If you experience any complications or unusual side effects after surgery, you should speak to your doctor immediately. 

15. Attend Follow-up Appointments

Follow-up appointments allow you to make sure that you are healing and that any side effects from the surgery are being managed. During follow-up visits with your doctor, you can discuss any questions or concerns you might have. Follow-up appointments also allow you to ensure that any fatigue, depression, or pain that may occur as a result of the surgery is addressed. 

Things To Do While Recovering From Surgery To Speed up the Healing Process

Surgery can be intimidating, but it’s important to remember to take care of yourself during the recovery process for your well-being. Follow your doctor’s recommendations about things to do while recovering from surgery and seek support when needed.

Your recovery process should be tailored to your body’s needs so that you can have a full and safe recovery. Schedule an appointment with your doctor today to discuss your options and get the most out of your healing.

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