Surgery

Post Surgery Tips on Recovering at Home



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If you were able to prepare sensibly before your surgery occurred, recovery at home should be a gradual but not difficult process. The recovery period itself will be determined by the type of surgery and how invasive it was; a small local anaesthetic as a day-patient should really only take a few hours to get over if you are otherwise fit and healthy, whereas a lengthy period of general anaesthetic takes longer for the body to recover from.

If you live on your own, consider the advantages of inviting a friend or family member to stay with your for a few days once you get home. Even if you did all your laundry and general house cleaning before your operation, it will not take long before it starts to pile up again, and your condition may not allow you to get straight back into doing housework. Having someone around for a few days means that you do not have to struggle with groceries, or lift heavy dishes in and out of the oven, and risk tripping over or burning yourself if you are unsteady on your feet. You may need help during the night and having someone there instead of having to call and wait for them to arrive will give you extra peace of mind. Your helper can also be useful in fielding well-meaning callers if you do not feel up to seeing anyone. You may not feel much like eating for a few days after your surgery either, and the temptation to just not eat if you are on your own will be great. The effects of anaesthetic are different for everyone, and you may only feel like a light meal or just a small portion of soup. If someone is with you, there is more incentive to have just a little of what they are preparing for themselves. Eating and drinking properly is an important part of recovery, and will help you feel better sooner.

People commonly find that their concentration wains for a short while after surgery, so some kind of entertainment that you can do in short bursts or that you don't have to think too hard about is ideal. You may feel more tired, even if you are less active. Do not feel ashamed if you need to have a nap during the afternoon for the first couple of days after your surgery. Even if you do not actually sleep, laying on the bed with your legs slightly elevated and headphones on with some soothing music is a good way to relax and help your heart keep your blood circulating as it should. As soon as you feel able to, get outside in the fresh air for a little while each day. Sitting in the garden is perfect if the weather is warm and dry.

If your surgery has long-term implications for your mobility or activity levels, you may want to pay a visit to a mobility aids store and see if there are any small items that will be helpful; a long handled stick with a grabbing mechanism at the end is ideal if you will be unable to bend down for some time. You may also find it useful to invest in a small bag or purse with a long shoulder strap, that you can wear around your neck to keep a pencil and pad, spectacles, or a cell phone in while you move around the house, to stop you trying to hurry to find them and trip or fall. If you have been given exercises to do at home by a physiotherapist, make sure you attempt them but stop if you experience any pain. It is often thought that these exercises are an optional extra in the recovery process, but in reality, they are an important part of the whole after-surgery time period. Each one will have a particular purpose, and you will find as the days pass that they become easier to accomplish. Soon you will be back on your feet and fighting fit again.

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