How To Plan Recovery After Surgery


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A plan on how to prepare for recovery after surgery in advance as well as tips on what to do before surgery to promote speedy healing.

This information is to help anyone take control of their surgery and recovery. The focus on self-help to surgery recovery, before surgery. Tips on fundamental management include: (Before surgery) attitude, information, weight control, organization and comfort; (After surgery) communication, discomfort, therapy, rest and diet.

Before Surgery

(1) A positive attitude is the best way to approach any surgery. Keeping an open mind about what to expect after gathering all the information about the surgery will lessen fears. Try talking to someone who has had the procedure done before. Sometimes the doctor can refer a previous patient.

(2) Gather information about the type of surgery you will have. Ask the doctor for any written materials. Other good sources are the Internet and the Library. Have confidence in your surgeon. Make a list questions to ask. Know the risks and the benefits and ask what to expect during surgery. Find out if you will need physical therapy after surgery. Talk to the therapist and get familiar with exercises you will be doing after surgery. Be prepared to work hard!

(3) Weight control is an important step to making a speedy recovery easier. Try to lose extra pounds if you are overweight. Exercise can improve strength and reduce pain. Be as active as you can both before and after surgery.

(4) Get Organized, plan meals, housekeeping and other assistance if necessary. Get your house ready; use common sense. Arrange furniture so nothing will be in the walk-way during recovery. You can’t be moving and lifting things. Arrange cupborads, cabinets, drawers and closets so everything is within reach and without the need to reach, bend or stretch. If you are your own cook, then prepare food ahead of time. Prepare and freeze enough of your favorite meals for at least three weeks time. Keep a supply of nourishing snacks and liquids handy, within reach.

(5) Comfort lends a helping hand to recovery. Before surgery choose a comfort zone. Whether it’s a chair, a bed or the floor with pillows, you’ll be glad you gave it some thought. Depending on the type of surgery, if you can sit in a chair, be sure to have a good height with arms to give yourself leverage to stand up. If your bed is on the second floor, be prepared to sleep on the first floor for a while. Keep a telephone at your bedside or chair with a list of numbers that you may need. Have radio and a supply of reading materials within reach.

After Surgery

(1) Communicate! When you wake up after the surgery, don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make your needs known.

(2) Physical discomfort after surgery may be of concern. Now is the time to start at working getting your strength back. Ask if you can have a trapeze attached to your bed. You will be able to move and help turn your body, which will help you gain strengh.

(3) Physical therapy is extremly important in gaining strength. Being faithful in keeping your therapy sessions will aide tremendously in building your strength as well as help prevent complications. Depending on age, physical condition and home condition, a short stay in a rehabilitation setting may be recommended to influence recovery before going home.

(4) Rest and naps are an essential part of healing. Don’t over work yourself. Take time to rest while your body mends.

(5) A healthy diet is great importance. The right food and drink can help regain strength speed up the healing process.

Any surgery is alarming enough. Not knowing what to expect before hand and not knowing what the out come will be can cause stress. But with a little thought and preparation, one can expect a positive recovery.

By: Sandra Furstal

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