Q & A: How to Have a Smooth Recovery From Surgery
Posted October 24, 2018
JM from East Liberty writes: I have a surgical procedure scheduled in two weeks and would like to be prepared for the recovery process. Are there any suggestions you have that will help make sure the recovery goes as smoothly as possible?
Dr. Antimarino’s Advice
Recovery time is different for each individual and is based upon their specific procedure. Learning what to expect post-operatively helps a patient feel prepared before going under the knife. By putting a plan together that includes specific instructions from your surgeon, the recovery period should be smooth and stress-free. These are 6 steps to address prior to your procedure:
- Make arrangements with your partner, a friend or family member to help assist you during the first few days, or more if needed, to give you the freedom to rest your body and your mind as you begin to heal.
- Be prepared for swelling, bruising, tenderness, and mild pain. This may involve having ice packs available and pain medication or other analgesics picked up from the pharmacy beforehand. Having a place that is comfortable, stocked with books, a television or a computer within reach makes having to stay off your feet much easier to tolerate.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to help your body recover and assist with eliminating some of the fluids that may be retained post-surgery.
- Make healthy food choices. Prepare in advance for good nutritional food choices that may need preparation prior to surgery.
- No smoking. Smoking decreases circulation and slows the recovery process.
- If you have questions or concerns, contact your surgeon. Do not hesitate to reach out to the surgeon after office hours if there is something that is concerning you. Let the surgeon decide if it is something that needs to be addressed immediately or if it can wait until morning!
Keeping these steps in mind as you prepare for your surgery will help give you a smooth recovery period. Remember to rest not only your body but your mind as well and be patient throughout the process. Your surgery may be elective, but it is still a surgical procedure and the body requires time to heal.