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The Dos and Don’t of Surgical Recovery

  • Category: Robotic Surgery
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  • Written By: St. John's Health
The Dos and Don’t of Surgical Recovery

Ensuring a Healthy Recovery After Surgery

The days, weeks, or even months spent recovering from surgery can feel like an uphill battle for many patients — but this period is vital to help your body heal. First and foremost, when you're recovering from surgery, it's essential to follow the doctor's orders and take care of yourself according to their post-op instructions.

However, some patients need a little extra help juggling their care once they're home. Here are some do's and don'ts to help make the process a little easier from the health experts at St. John's Health.

What Happens After the Procedure?

Once your surgery is complete, you'll go to a recovery room where the medical team will monitor you until the effects of the anesthesia wear off. You may feel groggy and disoriented at first, but this will pass. Then you'll go to your hospital room, where you'll spend the next few hours or days recovering. You can expect some pain and discomfort during this time. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help manage it.

When you’re discharged from the hospital, our staff will work to make sure you understand your follow-up treatment plan. That includes knowing your medications, making appointments, and resuming regular activities. Should you have any questions, we are here to answer them to make sure you stay on track for proper recovery.

For further information on General Surgery, click here.

For further information on Reconstructive Surgery, click here.

Post-Op Dos:

Even after you leave the hospital, your recovery isn't over yet. You'll need to take it easy for a few weeks or even months. Following your post-operative instructions closely is the key to making your recovery as easy as possible. This means that you should do the following according to the advice from your doctor:

  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Ice the surgical site regularly.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Be patient with yourself and your progress.
  • Freeze meals to have ready on hand.
  • Elevate the surgical site when possible.
  • Complete daily movement or stretches.
  • Speak to your doctor if you notice signs of infection or inflammation.

Your specific care instructions will depend on the type of surgery you've had. Many patients get antsy while recuperating from their procedure, and it can be tempting to get up and move around or return to your daily routine. Rest is the best possible remedy for your recovery, so take it easy to prevent irritating or infecting your incisions.

Support From Loved Ones

It's also a good idea to have a support system in place during this time. Consider leaning on family, friends, or even a home care nurse. These people can help you with cooking, cleaning, and transportation tasks. They can also help you monitor your condition and keep track of your symptoms.

Post-Op Don'ts:

In addition to the actions your doctor tells you to take, it's essential to avoid the following:

  • Smoking or drinking alcohol.
  • Overexerting yourself.
  • Using any creams or lotions on the surgical site until it is healed.
  • Taking baths or going swimming.
  • Letting the surgical site get wet.
  • Strenuous activity such as overextending.
  • Driving before you’re ready.
  • Ignoring signs of complications.

Recovering from surgery can be a challenge, but it can be a little easier with these tips. If you have any questions, be sure to talk to your doctor. It is also common to be sore after surgery, but if you are in excruciating pain or notice pus around your incision area, you should see your doctor for a check-up appointment. Be sure to monitor your symptoms and let your doctor know of anything abnormal during your follow-up.

Premier Surgical Center in Jackson, WY

Preparing for surgery of any kind may seem like a daunting task. But by following the tips in this blog post, you can help make the process a little easier. Just remember to take things slow and steady, and you'll be on your way to a full recovery in no time!

Ready to learn more about spinal surgery at our Jackson, Wyoming spine center? Please contact us to get in touch with a provider or schedule an appointment.