No matter what type of surgery you undergo, there are things you can do before and afterwards to ensure a smooth and convenient recovery. During your consultation with Dr. Hessler, she will go over everything you can expect during your recovery, and she will also provide you with detailed aftercare instructions for your specific procedure.
Get your home ready.
If Dr. Hessler recommends any medications to help with your recovery, she will bring it up during your initial consultation. This will give you plenty of time to pick up the medication and have it ready at your home. You should also make sure that your home is stocked with everything you’ll need for the duration of your recovery time. It will be much easier if you don’t have to go out for food items, toilet paper, shampoo, etc.
Follow the aftercare instructions you are given.
After a surgery, there are always instructions provided that are unique and important to the particular procedure you had. It is of the utmost importance to carefully follow these instructions. Read over them thoroughly, and be sure to follow them closely. Don’t pick and choose which ones to obey; adhere to them all. There are reasons for each and every one of them.
Keep your follow-up appointments.
Follow-up appointments after surgery are crucial. These are often the appointments where stitches or splints are removed, but also, these are the appointments where your surgeon can check your progress and make sure you’re healing properly. Even if you aren’t having any stitches removed and you feel amazing, keep your follow-up appointment. There are certain things that must be checked after surgery in order to keep you at your healthiest.
Take advantage of the recommended medications.
Dr. Hessler will recommend medications or supplements to help with healing during your recovery. It is very important that you take or use these medications. Some patients may want to skip them, but taking or using her recommended medications and/or supplements will be very effective towards your recovery.
Keeping your pain under control is very important after surgery. Some patients hesitate to take their pain medication as prescribed because they fear addiction or other issues. Others feel that taking pain medication is a sign of weakness, or they don’t like how they feel when they take prescription drugs. However, if you are in too much pain to cough, you are at risk for pneumonia. If you are in too much pain to walk, you are at risk for blood clots and pneumonia.
Keeping your pain at a tolerable level (no pain may be an unreasonable goal) will help you keep moving and speed the healing process. Just make sure to drink ample fluids along with pain medications, as they can lead to dehydration and constipation.
It is often easier to control pain if you take the medication regularly, as prescribed. Waiting until the pain is severe and then taking pain medication results in a long wait for the drug to take effect. It is better to keep the pain under control and at a tolerable level, rather than waiting until it is severe and waiting for relief. Good pain control can make it far easier to sleep, which also promotes healing.
Keep the treated area elevated.
To minimize bruising and swelling, try your best to keep the treated area elevated as much as possible, even when sleeping. Extra pillows or elevation pillows can help keep your body positioned upright.
Keep an eye on your incisions.
If possible, check your incisions regularly to make sure they are healing well. Dr. Hessler will discuss with you how to do this. You should check that your incisions look the way they should and that stitches are intact, and report any strange “behavior” such as unexpected drainage. Remember to always washing your hands before touching your incision in order to prevent infection. Do not scrub your incisions or pick at the scabs if any form.
Keep your body fueled up.
Although most patients don’t feel like eating after surgery, it’s very important to remember to stay hydrated and eat healthy meals. Ensuring your body is fueled up assists with healing and helps decrease the side effects from anesthesia.
Taking a light walk every few hours of the day during your recovery period is very important. Doing this can help prevent complications such as deep vein thrombosis, constipation, and other problems.
Avoid the things you’re supposed to.
Very often after surgery, there is a list of things you must avoid during recovery. This can include sun exposure, heat, water, exercise, etc. No matter what you feel like you can do, it is very important to obey the instructions on your “what to avoid” list. If you think that anything will be a problem, please bring it up to Dr. Hessler during your consultation.
Call us if you experience any unusual issues or pain.
Don’t take chances with your health. If you feel like something is wrong during your recovery, please don’t hesitate to contact us. This could include intense pain, bleeding, infection, vomiting, not being able to breathe, etc.