Most patients who’ve been through surgeries are troubled with the pain that comes after the operation. After surgery, patients find it hard to carry out even the simplest tasks they’d usually do. Apart from it, patients are bothered with post-surgery care, especially if it involves wound cleaning and the like. Lucky are the patients who have partners, friends, and family who can assist them in all ways possible for a better and quicker healing process.
Suppose you’re scheduled to go under the knife soon. In that case, you should be aware of what patients go through after the operation—the pain, adjustment, and the necessary steps to prevent complications. This article provides some post-surgery tips and tricks that could improve and speed up your healing – but you should always follow your doctor’s advice and instructions, which are specific to your case.
Post-Surgery Care 101
Post-surgery care, or post-operative care, refers to the collective way of caring for a patient after being discharged from a hospital. Basically, it centers on wound care and pain management. In most cases, patients hire professional, personalized, and private post-operative care services, such as Luxe Concierge Nursing, for the latest and hands-on post-surgery care and recovery programs.
Yet, a patient’s immediate relatives and friends could still help with at-home post-surgery care. Generally, this type of healthcare depends on the kind of surgery and health history of the patient. Apart from these, here are some points to consider as the process could affect a patient’s general health condition and wound healing:
- Existing medical conditions
- Pain tolerance
- Response to medicine
9 Post-Surgery Steps You Shouldn’t Ignore
Post-surgery’s primary goal is to hasten the healing process. If you want to succeed on this objective, you may need to understand and apply the following steps carefully and religiously:
1. Wash Your Hands Properly
In treating open wounds, cleaning and disinfecting the hands of patients and caregivers are necessary. Cleaning wounds with dirty hands may infect the wounds. If it happens, wounds may take longer to heal.
In most cases, people assigned with professional post-surgery care sanitize themselves from time to time with alcohol or soap. The same goes for the patient’s routine. This way, wound treatment will be a step away from infection.
2. Have A Well-Treated Wound
In wound cleaning, it’s important to note the degree of healing of the patient. Are scabs already visible? Do the wounds still bleed? Does the patient suffer from fever from time to time? These observations help in determining the manner of wound healing for a patient.
For fresh, open wounds, the person taking care of the patient should be mindful of the following before and during the cleaning process:
- Prepare a clean, sterile plaster or dressing
- Wear disposable gloves
- Ensure that the patient lies in a comfortable position
- Never attempt to remove anything embedded on the wound/s, such as stitches
- Gently wash it with a soap solution
- Don’t soak the wound
- Before dressing application, pat the wound gently with a clean towel, and air-dry it for three to five minutes
- Soak a gauze pad in saline solution before wiping the wounded skin with it
- Start with the areas that surround the wound
- Clean the wound area by dabbing with dry clean tissues
- Avoid using cotton balls—their fibers may stick in the wound
- Apply the clean, sterile dressing prepared earlier
- Apply a non-adhesive dressing before covering it with a breathable plaster
- If the wound bleeds, apply pressure on the wound while adding an extra bandage or dressing
If you notice the following, it’s best to seek the help of a medical professional:
- Bleeding profusely
- Extremely swollen and pus-filled wound
- Filled with dirt, including accumulated gauze fibers and strands
If the wound is already dry, you may use gauze pads and cotton balls for disinfection. Just be sure not to rub it on the deep or swollen parts of the wound.
3. Have An Appropriate Wound Dressing
The principle behind proper wound dressing is to apply the necessary pressure to prevent severe bleeding. In addition, it should avoid wound exposure (especially if the wound is still fresh). It should also prevent possible contaminants from infecting the wound.
Typically, a post-surgery professional uses dressing that’s already sterilized. At home, saline solutions could help for disinfection purposes. For better results, the gauze pad could use tissue adhesive glues and skin adhesive tapes to prevent the bandage from detaching and exposing the wound.
4. Take Enough Rest And Sleep
Sleeping increases healing. Science has it that the body regenerates whenever it’s at sleep. In this process, the body releases hormones with healing properties that help speed up healing. In addition, it improves the patient’s immunity in fighting off harmful bacteria that may infect the wounds. To optimize the healing properties of sleeping, you may couple it with regular, highly nutritious meals.
5. Eat A Well-balanced Meal
If you’re under post-surgery care, you could consider adding the following to your meals to increase your healing process after checking with your healthcare provider:
- Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and zinc, such as citrus, strawberry, and spinach
- Vitamin C supplements
- Unsweetened natural drinks
- Protein-rich snacks or meals, such as eggs, yogurt, and chicken
- Lots of water
6. Take Your Medicine Completely And On Time
Don’t forget to take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Aside from the antibiotics taken during operation that prevent post-surgery infections, continuous anticipation medication is necessary for constant healing. Missing a pill may fail its long-term healing effects. As doctors would say, a missed medicine puts you back into Day 0. So, the initial attempts to cure yourself would just be wasted because of a forgotten dosage. To prevent this, you may use your alarm to remind you if it’s time to take your meds.
Yet, even if your doctor has already given you a prescription medication. Make sure that you’re not allergic to it as taking such would even lengthen your healing. To confirm that whatever medicine you’d take will be helpful to your healing process, you may seek the advice of a doctor. Typically, the doctor would ask about your health history and your body’s reactions to typical medications.
7. Disinfect Your Room
Most of the time, patients stay in one room. Typically, personal nurses take care of the patients in the same room. Because of this, it’s a must for every room to be spotless. To do this, here are some of the steps that need to be taken care of:
- Vacuum the room to get rid of high dust that could infect wounds
- Disinfect the flat surfaces
- Change curtains, bedsheets, and other fabrics in the room after one to two days, or if necessary
- Remove stock supplies inside the patient’s room
- Mop the floor soaked previously in disinfecting solution
8. Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan
The speed of healing depends on a vast range of factors. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions. Avoid heavy movements that may stress your wounds. Don’t lift, even though your wounds may seem better than before. Internal bleeding is more dangerous than the physical wounds that you could probably see when your wounds are cleaned. In addition, the doctor may give you some tips and tricks about pain and wound management that could help you in your healing.
9. Exercise Gently Yet Regularly
Ironically, although you’ve been restricted from doing major body movements, you may start doing light exercises – follow your doctor’s advice on when and how much to start moving. Avoid forcing the muscles associated with the wounded parts of the body. With this, you could begin exercising with your fingers and non-dominant limbs. This will help in the healing process since your blood becomes active enough. This way, you’d be able to improve blood circulation without forcing the issue. In addition, you’ll be able to stretch your scar tissue, making it easier for you to move once your body and skin become used to such routines.
Post-surgery care is absolutely about post-surgical wound treatment and pain management. To handle this situation, a patient could seek professional help so they’d be provided by their needed special post-operative care and recovery. On the contrary, loved ones, partners, and family members can also help in these post-surgery care services at home.
If you’re still undecided about hiring a professional, you may compare the pros and cons of having and not having them. You may consider the cost of the care services, especially that there are still medical expenses to spend for.
Yet, these services may have the equipment and experience to get the job done better than non-professionals. Either way, the support of your friends and family will matter a lot, not just in healing, but in giving you the strength to push through despite this painful and challenging situation.
Suppose you’ve already gone through surgery and are waiting for your wounds to heal. In that case, you may need to consider rereading the post-surgery tips and tricks to speed up your healing process. Think about the points you had from this write-up. Try to fit what you’ve learned in your current situation. Are your wounds still bleeding? Are there already scabs? Whatever your decision is, always choose what would benefit your welfare in the long run.
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