26 Jan Post-Operative Care: 4 Ways To Reduce Your Pain And Heal Faster After Your Surgery
Road To Post-Surgical Recovery
Whether for emergency or elective reasons, surgery is an essential part of healthcare. After surgery, the patient will go through a recovery process. During this period, excellent post-operative care is necessary. While the recovery time will vary, almost all patients experience some initial pain and discomfort. There are 4 simple yet effective ways to reduce pain and heal faster, improving the procedure’s success rate.
1. Follow instructions
After surgery, the medical team will provide instructions for essential post-operative care. The first step addresses wound care, teaching the patient how to change wound dressing and navigate showering. There is also pain management, using medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids. Studies show that effective pain management improves the outcome of surgery. Following the instructions the healthcare team provides can significantly improve pain and speed up healing.
2. Get your steps in
As healing progresses, the patient should incorporate gentle movements and exercise to speed up healing. Of course, the degree of movement will depend on the patient’s health and the type of surgery performed. Gradual exercises that do not compromise the surgical site are essential. Exercise improves circulation, balances hormones, and strengthens the muscles around the surgical area. Even a short daily walk can help. Other effective exercises include yoga, aquatic therapy, and stationary bikes.
3. Nutrition matters
Proper nutrition plays an essential role in surgical outcomes. The body is healing and needs key crucial nutrients like proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals from a balanced diet with a focus on whole foods. Establish a healthy diet in the post-op period based on recommendations from a dietician or doctor. Patients should also avoid foods with low nutritional content known to increase inflammation, such as processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. Maintaining a whole-food diet during recovery can go a long way in reducing pain and speeding up healing.
4. Stay stress-free
Surgery is a stressful time for the patient and close friends or family. Many patients are concerned about the outcome of the procedure and any possible complications. Such high-stress moments can raise cortisol, a hormone that is counterproductive to healing. Therefore, doctors will recommend patients work on reducing stress. Mindfulness, massage, reading, and relaxation at home can all help. Talk therapy and support groups are also necessary for some people to help with keeping highly inflammatory stress hormones at a minimum.
Back on your feet again
Post-operative care is a critical part of the success of any surgery. Proper care speeds up healing and can reduce complications. Ignoring post-op instruction can lead to longer downtime or the need for follow-up surgeries. Less pain and faster healing are possible with proper pain management, exercise, nutrition, and stress management. Prepare for recovery before the surgical procedure for the best results.