Every surgical procedure requires some measure of aftercare. Indeed, recovery, both immediately and long after surgery can make a procedure very successful or have it fall short of expectations.
Some of the most important aftercare obligations include:
- Starting in the hospital immediately after your surgery, you will be in a bit of pain, but you will be asked to get up and walk. Walking is very important because it kick-starts your circulatory processes. Your circulatory system is one of the key lines of defense against possible infection and you’ll probably find you feel less pain and experience less swelling, by following this tip.
- You may be sent home with a diet plan, either or the short term or long term after surgery. Following this diet plan is critical as it will be tailored to your recovery. For example, you may be instructed to drink lots of water and eat foods high in protein. Both help speed recovery. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks only sap your body of important hydration.
- Wound care goes a long way in helping to ensure an infection does not occur. Making sure you wash your hands before handling bandages and changing dressings on time and when needed are two of the keys to proper wound care.
- Going back to work at the appropriate time. Many patients believe that it is OK to cheat on this point. Going back to work, especially at a job that requires some strain or physical stress can be downright dangerous. Be sure to follow return-to-work guidelines even if you’re feeling on top of the world.
There will be many aftercare processes that you will be asked to follow after surgery. It is up to you to understand them and follow them closely when you return home. If you have any questions you should of course speak to your surgeon as soon as possible to clarify. Further, if you ever believe you are having a medical emergency, dial 911 immediately.
Just remember that the surgical process is a team effort and a big part of that team is you. Following post-op instructions will give you the best shot at minimizing pain and recovery time after surgery.