Four tips for a stronger recovery from surgery
Follow instructionsThis might seem too obvious to state but all too often we see people with post-surgery complications simply because they didn’t follow instructions. They lifted something heavier than recommended. They stopped taking pain medication and/or antibiotics too soon. They didn’t follow through with therapy exercises. Even if you start feeling better, it’s important to carry out your doctor’s instructions all the way through to make sure you keep feeling better. And while we’re giving instructions - make sure you don’t skip follow-up appointments.
Watch what you eat and drinkWhat you eat and drink can have a big impact on your recovery process. Your body needs calories and nutrients to fight off infection, speed healing and regain strength. Your doctor will likely give you a post-surgery diet, and it’s important to follow it. The foods listed there have been carefully selected to give your body what it needs - and make sure you’re not giving it food that will hinder recovery.
Focus on foods that are rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. And don’t forget the water! It’s important to stay hydrated after surgery. Proper hydration isn’t only necessary for healing, but may also be necessary to help your body absorb medications following surgery.
Get movingNot too fast of course, but as soon as you are able to walk, do so! “Walking after surgery is a big step in preventing complications such as blood clots, constipation and pneumonia,” notes LMH surgeon Dr. Todd Weinstein. “We’d like to see you up and moving a little bit every hour or two while awake to promote better healing.”
Ask for - and accept - helpIt often surprises people when they are exhausted after surgery. However, any surgery tires the body and the recovery process can be tiring as well. Don’t expect to be able to follow your normal routine for a while. Each surgery and patient differs, but you’re likely to need help for at least a few days if not a few weeks. Talk to family and friends beforehand and line up help for everything from cooking meals to housecleaning and driving to appointments.
Bonus tip: Before you have surgery, talk to your doctor so you know exactly what to expect
Ask your doctor what to expect immediately after surgery as well as in the days to come. Discuss your expectations for recovery and learn what is realistic. “Make sure to talk to us about medications you are currently taking,” comments LMH surgeon Dr. Michael Lalla. “You will need to stop taking certain drugs and over-the-counter supplements before surgery. Diabetics on insulin will also need to make adjustments. It’s important to have these conversations before the day of your surgery.”
Convenient, skilled surgery close to home
Logansport Memorial Hospital is supported by a team of highly skilled surgeons who cover a wide range of specialties. Have your surgery close to home, contact the surgery department at LMH.