After surgery there can potential complication that are simply random and may not be avoidable. Even when everything goes well, you still have surgery risks such as infection risks and bleeding risks.
But there are some aspects of your healing that are entirely in your hands and can make your recovery go quicker…
While this may seem simple, following instructions means even the minor directions you may find silly or unnecessary. Even if you feel better physically, internal healing may still be taking place. Skipping out on direction could result in prolonged issues, such as infection, tearing or excessive bleeding.
Eat right for recovery.
After surgery, you may feel constipated or nauseous. Although you may not be hungry or want to eat, it is important to eat a healthy diet that promotes healing.
Certain foods may help with fatigue and also aid in the body’s recovery process. Foods you consume should include:
- Protein – Protein is essential to wound healing, so try to get plenty of foods like chicken and eggs.
- Vitamin C – Some research shows that Vitamin C and zinc can help with healing, so eat the recommended amount of fruit each day.
- B12 and Iron – Iron and B12 both aid bone marrow in forming new blood cells, so incorporate foods like fish and eggs.
- Fiber and probiotics – This combination helps boost the immune system and also keeps your digestive tract moving along. Eating yogurt with granola is just one easy way to get a serving of both fiber and probiotics!
Other foods should be avoided, such as:
- Sports drinks – While it is important to stay hydrated, the sodium in sports drinks can cause the body to retain water, making it more difficult to decrease swelling.
- Sugary foods – Limit your intake of refined sugars as they can lead to increased fatigue
Get moving (carefully).
While it’s good to rest, it’s also beneficial to move around. As soon as you are able to walk, you will likely be advised to do so by your physician to prevent blood clots and get the bowels moving. Continuing this movement once you are home can help prevent other complications, like pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis. A short walk every hour or two will help decrease the risk for these complications.
Inspect Your Incision
Looking at your incision may not be your favourite thing to do, but it is important that you take a good look at your incision regularly.
Now there are procedures where this isn’t possible, but for the vast majority of procedures, a mirror makes it possible to have a good look at the surgical site. Is your incision pink or red? Is there wound drainage and what colour is it? These questions are very important and looking at your incision daily can help you determine if your surgical site is continuing to heal or if it is getting worse.
Care For Your Incision The Right Way
You know you should wash your hands before touching your incision, but then what? Caring for your incision doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. Believe it or not, most patients try to get their incision a bit too clean.
They want to scrub their incision and remove the scabs that form, or they want to use alcohol or peroxide to keep the area free of germs. Unless your surgeon specifically instructs you to do any of those things, a gentle wash with soap and water is more than adequate.
Control Your Pain
Keeping your pain under control is very important after surgery. Some patients hesitate to take their pain medication as prescribed because they fear addiction or other issues. Others feel that taking pain medication is a sign of weakness. However, if you are in too much pain to cough, you are at risk for pneumonia. If you are in too much pain to walk, you are at risk for blood clots and pneumonia.
Keeping your pain at a tolerable level will help you keep moving and speed the healing process. Just make sure to drink ample fluids along with pain medications, as they can lead to dehydration and constipation.
It is often easier to control pain if you take the medication regularly, as prescribed. Waiting until the pain is severe and then taking pain medication results in a long wait for the drug to take effect. It is better to keep the pain under control and at a tolerable level, rather than waiting until it is severe and waiting for relief. Good pain control can make it far easier to sleep, which also promotes healing.
For further information contact us today!