Recovering from Surgery
Coming out of surgery can be one of the most disconcerting feelings. Usually, the mobility of the person who has undergone surgery is restricted, and this can bring a certain feeling of helplessness. Diet, rest and exercise are the three most important factors that will effect healing after surgery. Before a patient undergoes surgery he most probably will be given a guide containing tips and methods to help a quick recovery. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with it can go a long way to hasten the recovery process from the surgery. Also most of the people have to take pain medications to control pain after surgery and the pain medication do have some side effects like constipation.
In the recovery room, coming out right after surgery, there are some breathing, coughing and moving exercises that can help. It is advisable to ask doctor before attempting these simple exercises. Take deep breaths to prevent fluid build-up caused by extended lying. Coughing will help remove chest excretions. The two exercises will help prevent pneumonia. Stimulate circulation by turning and doing foot and leg exercises such as wiggling, bending or bicycling, depending on the operation. In some patient blood clots may develop due to non-activity and light exercises are therefore recommended to avoid this blood clotting.
One of the most important virtue to have at this time of healing is obedience. The patient has to be obedient to the doctor and must try to follow the instructions as closely as possible. If the doctor orders you to stay still, then do so. The surgeon knows best, and surgeon is not making you rest as punishment. Make sure to ask for ways to optimize and fast track your healing process after surgery.
Resting, preferably sleeping is the best way to hasten recovery. There is a reason why we power down each day. While we sleep and dream, our body is busy repairing damaged cells and tissues and this is also true for a patient who has undergone surgery. Although it is common for your sleep to be disturbed, make an effort to sleep several times a day. Also make sure to include adequate amount of protein in diet as it will be helpful in repairing muscles if any of them is slightly damaged during surgical procedure.
Aside from resting, make it a point to stop (even temporarily) bad habits such as smoking and eating junk foods. One must be very careful with diet after surgery as it is very important. It goes without saying that alcohol should not be consumed too. Load up on proteins, as they contain amino acids which help build and repair cells. Eat healthy – being sick is not an excuse to eat whatever you like. Your body is trying to repair itself; throwing junk at it will only impede recovery. Also, water is very important, so stay hydrated.
Aim to be mobile as early as you can. Try to sit-up or walk around after surgery. Listen to your body, though, and pace yourself. Pain is expected after surgery, just make sure the pain is manageable. Walk around if you can and slowly get back to your routine. But do not overdo any activity. It would be counterproductive to force your body to recover, only to go back to the hospital for overexertion. Patience is another virtue that will help speed up the recovery.
Once you are home, rested and a little bit mobile, start an exercise routine. Aerobic activities such as walking will help, but if this is not up to your caliber yet, some weight bearing exercises will do. Examples of weight-bearing exercises are stair-climbing and weight-lifting. These will strengthen your muscles as they force your body to work against gravity. Exercise will go a long way to restoring balance, strength and flexibility. Swimming is highly recommended at this time, the water bears the strain of your body, making it a low impact alternative.
Recovering from a surgery can be a slow and painful process. Do not be too proud to ask for help. Letting people who care about you help you will not only speed up the physical healing, it will also allow them to feel that they are doing something.