Surgery can either add to your health, or, when not taken seriously, can lead to even more health issues. In most cases, a person that maintains a healthy lifestyle and includes fitness into their daily routine will be able to recover from surgery faster.
If you want to recover from surgery faster, you’ll want to:
1. Keep All of Your Appointments
Do not, under any circumstance, skip any of your follow-up appointments. It’s never a good idea to skip these appointments because they’re scheduled for a reason – to monitor your progress after surgery.
Follow-up appointments will be able to assess how the surgery went and how well you’re healing.
Any issues that may present after surgery will also be found early on, ensuring that you’re able to manage the issues and recover faster as a result.
2. Start Moving as Quickly as Possible
You want to start moving, helping your body heal faster in the process. But you also don’t want to get started moving too early after your surgical procedure. A general rule of thumb is to listen to the recommendation of your doctor.
“Follow all surgery-related instructions: This includes both before and after the operation,” recommends Steinberg Goodman & Kalish.
But once you can get moving, you will want to get started.
Staying still for too long is bad for your body. If you remain stagnant, you’ll be at risk of:
Your surgeon should be consulted to understand when you can return to strenuous activity. “Getting moving” means walking around for an hour or two per day to prevent a lot of the post-surgery complications that you’re now at-risk of suffering from.
3. Eat and Drink Enough
If you’re someone that knows that eating is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, you won’t be surprised to learn that eating will also aid in your recovery from surgery. Eating and drinking is essential because it will “fuel” your recovery.
Dehydration has been shown to slow recovery, and a lack of food will do the same.
If you’re not eating or drinking enough, your recovery may come to a halt. Of course, you may feel sick and queasy the first few days after surgery, but do your best to eat and drink as normal.
4. Monitor Your Incision
Your incision has a risk of becoming infected, and this will be a major drawback in returning to optimal health. If you get an infection, you’ll need to go directly to the emergency room or doctor to have the area cleaned and to assess the extent of the infection.
Warm water and soap are often recommended for cleaning incisions.
Rubbing scabs off or using alcohol is not a good idea for an incision – you’ll cause more harm than good.
Be gentle, ensuring that you clean and dry the incision. Don’t cover the incision until it is completely dry.
If you’re unsure of how to properly care for your incision, you can also opt to ask your doctor or surgeon what care instructions you should be following.