Post-Surgery Care: What to Expect

According to the American College of Surgeons, at least 15 million Americans have some surgical procedure yearly. While it’s important to gear yourself up for surgery, it’s also crucial to consider your recovery, which includes post-surgery care. 

Recovering from surgery can be an arduous journey, both physically and mentally. It can be a challenging experience that can drain your energy, leaving you tired, weak, and vulnerable.

But, with proper postoperative care, you can make the recovery process more manageable. Read on to learn what you can expect.

Anesthesia Recovery

The first stage of surgery recovery begins when you wake up from anesthesia. This stage can vary depending on the anesthesia used and the surgery’s duration.

You may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. You may also feel groggy, confused, and disoriented. These side effects are temporary and typically resolve within a few hours.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions during this stage of recovery. You may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for some time and may be given pain medication to help manage any discomfort.

Hospital Stay

After surgery, you’ll likely spend some time in the hospital to recover. The length of your hospital stay will depend on the type of surgery you had, your overall health, and how well you’re recovering. During this time, medical staff will monitor you closely to ensure that you’re healing properly.

Your hospital stay may be a time of rest, but it’s also a time for you to start taking an active role in your recovery. This means following your doctor’s instructions, taking any prescribed medication, and working with your healthcare team to develop a plan for your postoperative care.

Pain Management

Pain is a common side effect of surgery and can be managed through medication, physical therapy, or other methods. It’s essential to take your pain medication as directed and to avoid over-the-counter pain relievers unless specifically instructed by your doctor.

You should also avoid alcohol while taking pain medication. The reason for this is it can increase the risk of side effects.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is essential to postoperative care and can help you recover faster and more thoroughly. Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may need to participate in physical therapy to help you regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

Your physical therapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan. The plan may include exercises, stretches, and other techniques to help you recover.

Life After Surgery

Once you’re discharged from the hospital, your recovery will continue at home. Following your doctor’s instructions and caring for yourself during this time is important. This may include:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Taking any prescribed medication
  • Avoiding strenuous activities
  • Attending follow-up appointments with your healthcare team

You may experience discomfort during this time, but listen to your body and communicate with your healthcare team if you have any concerns. 

Post-Surgery Care Explained

Recovering from surgery can be a challenging experience, but with proper post-surgery care, you can make it easier. Remember to be patient, stay positive, and communicate with your healthcare team throughout recovery.

At Northwest Regional Health, we offer distinguished post-surgery care options. Here you can learn more about our services.