6 Self-Care Tips After Surgery

Your surgery is over, and now it’s time to heal. You may be anxious to get back to normal as soon as possible, and there are some steps you can take to help your recovery move along.


Recovery could take anywhere from a week to a few months, depending on your type of operation, and you may also experience some postoperative side effects. There are also possible complications, such as infection, too much bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, or accidental injury; but these tips, along with your doctor’s orders, can help you have a safe and speedy recovery.


  1. Take your medication to control pain. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help control pain at home. Keep in mind that it’s easier to prevent pain than it is to control it. If you have trouble controlling your pain, ask your doctor about additional measures. If your doctor has cleared you to exercise, plan to take your medication at least 30 minutes before you begin, and be sure to ease into exercising.


  1. Follow your doctor’s instructions for incision care. Here are some general tips to keep in mind:


  • Keep the incision clean and dry, and avoid bathing for the first 24 hours. If you have stitches or skin tape, take a shower instead of a bath.


  • Gently pat the incision dry with a towel after bathing – no rubbing!


  • If your bandage becomes bloody, replace it with dry gauze or another bandage. Apply pressure to the incision to stop the bleeding. If it continues, call your doctor.


  • If you notice any swelling, increased pain, drainage, or fever, call your doctor right away. Redness around the incision site is normal, but if it increases or spreads more than half an inch, let your doctor know. He or she many suggest using an antibiotic cream on the site.


  1. Ease into activity.


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Shared from: Health Grades Inc.