Following surgery, a period of recovery is required. You don’t want to stress your body out too much, in case you aggravate the incisions made during the procedure. Moreover, the trauma involved might heighten your risk of infection and pneumonia – which means that physical activity is a risk.
This is the case whether you’re getting a gastric sleeve fitted, or you’re having open-heart surgery. As such, you’ll want to slowly ease your way back into the swing of things in order to minimise the risks of setbacks and complications. So what steps should you take in order to maximise your chance of a successful recovery, and to accelerate the process?
Listen to your Doctor
The medical professionals you’re dealing with will have a special understanding of your particular circumstances. Your age and background will have an influence on the rate at which you recover, and your doctor will be able to take these into account when offering advice. If they recommend a follow-up appointment to check your progress, then don’t be tempted to skip it. It may be that further intervention is required, but mostly you’ll get the peace of mind you need.
Control the Pain
Painkillers have a range of side-effects. But these are usually preferable to the pain itself, and to the lack of sleep associated with it. Sleep plays a vital role in recovery, as do basic bodily functions like coughing and walking (which we’ll get to in a moment). Control pain through the medication you’re prescribed, and be pro-active about it. Rather than waiting for the level of pain to become unbearable, work those painkillers into your daily routine. If the side effects are unmanageable, then talk to your doctor about switching to an alternative.
When you’re told that it’s okay to get out of bed, you should make the effort to do so. The longer you delay it, the more difficult it will be to return to your previous state of activity. That doesn’t mean that you should resume a full exercise routine, or go for a long walk, but it does mean that you should be moving around. Lying in bed for too long can cause a range of problems, from ulcers to muscle wastage.
Eat and Drink Properly
If you feel nauseous, then you might decide that it’s okay to skip a meal. But eating provides the body with the fuel it needs to recover. The same is also true of hydration – a lack of which can inhibit your progress. Drink plenty of water at regular intervals throughout the day.