Having surgery can be stressful and scary, but if you take the proper precautions and focus on recovering, you should have nothing to worry about. Here are some helpful tips that will make your recovery easier.
Follow the Healthcare Provider’s Instructions
One of the very most important parts of recovering from surgery is to follow all of the instructions carefully and make sure to ask questions about anything that you do not understand. It probably comes as no surprise that healthcare professionals have learned that patients will often follow only the instructions that they want to and disregard the rest, but this will not give you the best results. Instead, it is very important to follow everything they tell you to do, even if it is something uncomfortable or painful.
A lot of these instructions may seem more inconvenient than anything else, like not being able to bathe or lift something heavy, but you are informed of these things because they are important. If you are confused about something, or it is going to be a major inconvenience for you, you can always ask your doctor or a nurse what the reasoning behind the instruction is. They will probably give you an answer that makes it all make a lot more sense.
Go to Your Follow Up Appointments
Even if you feel like going to the appointment is unproductive because you feel fine, it is important to keep and attend all of your follow-up appointments. As someone who is not a medical professional, there may be some issues that you cannot detect, such as signs of infection or improper healing. You also might need medications adjusted, and it is always good to make sure you are making progress.
Care For Your Incision
With all of the fear of infection many people actually go overboard when it comes to cleaning their incisions. You don’t want to scrub it unnecessarily and remove the scabs that are forming, these are good and help to ensure you have less scarring. You also should not use alcohol or peroxide to get rid of germs unless your doctor specifically tells you to do this. Most of the time, all you need to do is wash gently with soap and water just like you do on the rest of your body.
Scabs can be hard to look at, and you may have a seemingly uncontrollable urge to pick at them, but you absolutely should not do this. This is also why cleaning your incisions gently is so vital, when you remove the scabs it can slow down the healing process. Many surgeons suggest taking a shower instead of a bath because soaking the incision can cause the scabs to become weak and doesn’t allow for the full healing process.
Take Care of The Rest of Your Body
Remember that while your body is healing from the surgery it is important to take care of your whole body, not just the area that was operated on. Eating and drinking properly is vital to ensuring that your body has the fuel it needs to heal properly. If you think you are going to be too tired or weak to cook for yourself, have some meals ready to go in the refrigerator or freezer so that all you have to do is heat it up.
Ask For Help
It can also be helpful to have someone come over to give you a hand with everyday chores so that you don’t strain yourself. Many people overlook the importance of keeping your home clean to preserve your health. If you expect to be unable to clean for a longer period than usual, see if someone can help you out with light cleaning so that everything isn’t too overwhelming when you do recover. Make sure at least one of your neighbors knows the situation, especially if you live in a retirement community and they are used to seeing you out and about. Your neighbors should also know in case you have an emergency and need help quickly.
Roni Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.