Whether it is a hernia repair, appendectomy or bariatric procedure, your recovery after surgery may set the stage for the eventual success of the procedure. Even the smallest and simplest of surgeries requires care and attention to prevent complications. You will feel weak and under-the-weather for a while after surgery – that is inevitable – and we want to try to minimize that downtime or you.
Recovery begins in the hospital or surgery center. Shortly after surgery, you will be expected to start moving. You will be wearing compression stockings to keep circulation normal. Walking is extremely important and should be performed as soon as you are ready. While it may be difficult and a little painful at first, it is a very important part of restarting the blood circulation that will make your recovery smoother. Making sure you report any pain and have your pain treated early can set the stage for better pain management over the longer term.
Hydration and diet is also very important after surgery. Staying hydrated is a key to recovering successfully. Water will be your good friend in this regard. Your diet will be similarly important and will vary based on the procedure performed. Make sure you follow your surgeon’s instructions closely.
An important step in an uneventful recovery includes knowing what to look out for. You should always call your doctor if you believe something is amiss. And of course if you feel like you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately. As a general guide, any bad smelling, thick or opaque discharge as well as redness around the incision site several days after surgery many be a sign of infection. Further, persistent vomiting, a fever or serious pain at the surgical sign or in the legs can be danger signs. Significant swelling in the legs may also signify a circulation problem.
Recovery is, and should be, slow after any abdominal surgery. Be sure to follow doctor’s orders and know what warning signs to recognize. Here’s to a safe and speedy recovery!