If you have scheduled or are considering a surgical procedure, planning ahead can help make your recovery and the healing process more comfortable. Although healing varies from patient to patient, there are some steps you can take to make sure your first few days at home go smooth and stress-free. By making a few simple arrangements around the house before you leave for the hospital, you will be ready to recover in comfort when you return.
Your surgeon will provide you with instructions for the things you should do and things you should avoid. These will vary between surgeries, but some constants apply to any type of operation. Patients feel better when they take it easy after surgery, if only for a couple of days. Relaxing may be difficult if the house is not adequately prepared. Here are nine hints to be fully equipped for healing after you leave the surgical center and head for home.
Prepare a Recovery Area
This area could include your bed at night or that favorite recliner or sofa for the day. You should make sure you have a place where you can be comfortable and immobile for the initial phase of your recovery. Place things helpful to your healing and items that will help you pass this time. These include:
You cannot wash your hands enough after surgery. The frequent use of hand sanitizer can prevent infection. Also, keep antibacterial soap in the bathroom for regular use when there.
Your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication for you after surgery. Try to have them filled and waiting for you for when you get home. If you wait until after you arrive, you may find yourself desperate to get relief from any pain you may experience instead of resting comfortably in bed.
Your surgeon may also recommend over-the-counter products to counteract constipation resulting from the pain medications. This may come in the form of liquid, pills, or fiber intake. Make sure you have them handy to avoid any discomfort that could follow taking your medicine.
Emergency Contact Information
In this digital age, you should have your surgeon’s numbers on your phone. Make a list of them on paper just in case your battery dies or your phone breaks. A quick conversation with your doctor could mean the difference between a trip to the emergency room or a comfortable nights sleep.
Books, Movies, and Music
Recovery is often boring with a lot of sitting or resting, while you like to do other things. Have a selection of movies available that you’ve wanted to see, or classics you enjoy re-watching. Get that book you’ve always wanted to read. Stock up on magazines you enjoy or keep that tablet fully charged. You may also download some digital games or have crossword puzzles or knitting supplies.
Incision Care Supplies
After surgery, you will need to take care of your incisions. Your surgeon should give you direction on what to use and how to use it. Stock up and keep them in arm’s length.
Hydrating helps you heal. Make sure you have plenty of water available and in arms reach. Drink plenty to keep the body’s natural healing mechanisms working. Also, drinking water will flush out the remnants of the medication you are taking as well.
Other Tips to Remember
Make sure you have someone to help you around the house at least for the first few days. If you feel a bit vulnerable during this time and want to stay out of the limelight with family or friends, hire a home health care service to help you with chores around the house.
You have to eat, so make sure you have plenty of meals prepared for when you get back from the hospital. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to access daily and warm in the microwave. Treat yourself to your favorite meals if appropriate during your recovery.
Recovery is a time for comfort, not fashion, so wear what’s comfortable no matter how many holes they have. Wear something loose, especially around the incisions. The Baggier the better even if it means wearing your husband’s pajamas for awhile.
To learn more about how to prepare for your recovery after plastic surgery, contact Dr. Zochowski today.