How to Successfully Recover after a Big Surgery

healing from surgeryPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

Whether your surgery was routine or due to an emergency, the recovery period after must be done with care. You don’t want to push yourself too far, and you don’t want to over-rely on medication to get you through this period, either. There can be a lot of complications post-surgery, and it is up to you to be patient with yourself, to follow these steps, and to stay in touch with your doctor if there are any complications:

1. Be Careful with Your Pain Killer Prescriptions

When your body is healing from surgery, you will be in pain. You will also be prescribed opiates to deal with said pain. Common prescription medication like Codeine, Hydrocodone (known as Vicodin or Hycodan), Oxycodone (known as Oxycontin, Dilaudid, and Fentanyl) can all be dangerous. The longer your healing process and the longer your prescription, the more danger you are in. This is because we build up antibodies to medication, just as we do to viruses. In order to experience the same pain relief, you will need to up your dosages, and unfortunately, you are much more likely to develop an addiction to higher doses. To overcome any addiction, you will then need to commit yourself to inpatient rehab. Opiates can take days if not weeks to leave your system. If you don’t go through rehab after developing an addiction, you run the risk of overdosing in the future.

2. Keep Your Wounds Clean and Re-Dress

Infection following an operation is a real concern, which is why you need to be on top of cleaning and redressing your wounds. The last thing you want is for a wound to become infected after surgery, as this will often require a new surgery or bout in the hospital in order to cure. You also don’t want to over-rely on antibiotics, so keep your wounds cleaned to reduce the chance of infection and inflammation.

3. Follow Your Physiotherapist’s Instructions at Home

If your surgery was either to help you regain movement, or affected your movement, chances are you will need to commit to physiotherapy to correctly heal. If you don’t, then your movement will likely be limited for the rest of your life. Remember to push yourself as your physiotherapist suggests, but to be honest about how you feel and your pain levels.

4. Be Patient with Your Healing Process

It can be difficult to heal when it takes a long time, but that is no excuse to push yourself before you are ready. Yes, the pain will be a good coach in regards to what you can and cannot do, but overexerting yourself can be just as dangerous. Be patient with how long it takes so that when you finally do get back up on your feet, it is for good.

With every surgery comes risk, and this risk does not end once you are discharged from the hospital. Internal bleeding, infection, and a myriad of other complications could make your recovery process longer. By instead following these tips, you can reduce the risk and improve your chances to heal correctly.

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