No matter how necessary your surgery is, undergoing such a procedure generates a huge wound. Your body will treat this as a health emergency and your immune system will go to work to heal the wound. By reviewing your instructions and planning, you can reduce your risk of infection and other healing hazards. Here are five important post surgery tips for a quick and healthy recovery.
1. Review Your Post-Surgical Care Instructions
Before you schedule your procedure, study your post-surgical care instructions and plan. If you need to hire a housekeeper, a babysitter, a dog walker, or any other support staff, do it before the procedures. Expert plastic surgeons in Miami recommend that your post-surgical process must include rest.
Will you need a:
- wedge pillow to keep your head elevated?
- button front pajamas to keep from tugging clothes over your head?
- cleansing cloths in case you can’t shower for a time?
If so, buy them before your procedure and have them in place during your post-surgical healing time so you can rest, heal and recover.
2. Keep the Wound Clean
Carefully review what’s necessary to keep the incision clean. This may include a prescription-strength topical, a saline rinse, or simply a scheduled dressing change. While reviewing your post-surgical instructions, note whether you will be able to drive, whether you should be monitored for 24 hours, and what medications you should have in-house once you are home.
Make sure you also are checking the wound for signs of infection. If you notice any changes in drainage, inflammation, or fever, you need to contact your team of physicians immediately.
3. Allow for Downtime
Now is the time to luxuriate in rest. If your dog is used to a daily jog, rely on a friend or hire someone. If you’re a high-energy house cleaner who loves to get things done, bring in a crew to deep clean your home before your procedure day.
Cook ahead, purchase some of your favorite pre-packaged foods or keep a supply of food delivery menus on hand to get your favorites delivered. This is not the time to be moving unless you have to for at least a couple of days. From exercise to housework, let things slide for at least a few days to avoid infection and inflammation risks.
4. Stay Hydrated and Fed
Make sure you have plenty of filtered drinking water handy. If you have a coffee habit, balance it with plenty of water because caffeine can dehydrate your tissues during this critical time when you need hydration to carry away inflammation and support your immune system.
If your surgery makes it hard to chew, invest in smoothie supplies so you can keep up your antioxidant intake. Fresh berries, protein powder, and other smoothie ingredients will make it much easier for you to protect your body easily without worrying about more involved food prep choices. Furthermore, if you don’t have the desire to eat after a surgery, you can find out how to improve your appetite after surgery.
5. Support Your Body in the Healing Process
If you have been struggling with some unhealthy habits, from smoking to overeating, take the time between your surgical consult and your procedure to make the necessary changes. A poor diet gives your body less to work with in terms of repairing your tissues and fighting off infection. The toxins from cigarette smoke limit the health of your tissues overall and can get in the way of healthy reconnections across the wound breach.
This is also a very good time to get a handle on your stress level. Listen to one of the many guided meditation recordings to help you calm your mind while your body heals. Don’t put a lot of pressure on your meditation practice; if you fall asleep, you needed the rest. If you have a hard time focusing on the recording, simply take the time to breathe deeply and visualize the movement of oxygen through your wound, repairing the tissues and re-knitting the wound.
The faster you recover, the sooner you can get back into the world. If you are prone to boredom, do make sure to treat yourself to a bit of fun. There are so many healthy things to do when bored. This can be something as simple as a new craft project or as involved as learning a new language. Find activities you can enjoy that don’t require you to move for at least a few days to get past the initial healing stage.
McKenzie Jones is your typical Midwestern gal. When she is not writing or reading, she can be found training for her next half-marathon, baking something sweet, playing her guitar, or cuddling up with her golden retriever, Cooper. She loves watching football, fall weather, and long road trips. It is recommended by expert plastic surgeons in Miami that your post-surgical process must include rest.