How to Heal Faster After Surgery: 5 Tips to Speed Up Post-Op Healing

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a condition that requires surgery, you may be eligible to receive a less-invasive surgical treatment referred to as robot-assisted surgery. Through small incisions, the da Vinci System allows surgeons to perform even the most complex and delicate surgeries with unmatched precision. Benefits of robot-assisted surgery include less pain, less blood loss, less scarring and a shorter recovery time.

Looking for more tips to heal faster after surgery? Learn more with these 5 Tips to Speed Up Post-Op Healing!

1. Follow Instructions. 

While this may seem simple, following instructions means even the minor directions you may find silly or unnecessary. If your doctor advises not to lift anything over a certain weight for a few weeks after surgery, there is a reason. If your doctor recommends you avoid driving, this is for your safety – we want you to be able to quickly adjust to driving conditions, which you might not be ready for after surgery. Even if you feel better physically, internal healing may still be taking place. Skipping out on direction could result in prolonged issues, such as infection, tearing or excessive bleeding.

2. Eat right for recovery.

After surgery, you may feel constipated or nauseous. Although you may not be hungry or want to eat, it is important to eat a healthy diet that promotes healing.

Certain foods may help with fatigue and also aid in the body’s recovery process. Foods you consume should include:

  • Protein – Protein is essential to wound healing, so try to get plenty of foods like chicken and eggs.

  • Vitamin C – Some research shows that Vitamin C and zinc can help with healing, so eat the recommended amount of fruit each day.

  • B12 and Iron – Iron and B12 both aid bone marrow in forming new blood cells, so incorporate foods like fish and eggs.

  • Fiber and probiotics – This combination helps boost the immune system and also keeps your digestive tract moving along. Eating yogurt with granola is just one easy way to get a serving of both fiber and probiotics!

Other foods should be avoided, such as:

  • Sports drinks – While it is important to stay hydrated, the sodium in sports drinks can cause the body to retain water, making it more difficult to decrease swelling.

  • Sugary foods – Limit your intake of refined sugars as they can lead to increased fatigue due to fluctuation in blood sugar levels.

3. Don’t skip follow-up appointments.

Even if you are feeling better, it is important to attend post-op visits as your physician will be looking for things you may not be able to see, especially if your incision is internal like with a hysterectomy. Follow-up blood work may also be done to ensure there is no infection, and adjustments to your medication may be needed.

4. Ask for help.

Keeping pain at a tolerable level is important, as too much pain can put you at increased risk for developing a blood clot or pneumonia. If you are in pain, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This can mean asking a family member or friend for assistance with daily tasks, or contacting your provider for assistance with pain management before the pain gets too severe.

5. Get moving (carefully).

As soon as you are able to walk, you will likely be advised to do so by your physician to prevent blood clots and get the bowels moving. Continuing this movement once you are home can help prevent other complications, like pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis. A short walk every hour or two will help decrease the risk for these complications.

Bonus Tip:

No matter your situation, but also post operation, it is always a good time to quit smoking! The effects of smoking on your blood circulation go directly against what your body is doing for wound healing.

If surgery is on your horizon, you owe it to yourself to learn about all of your medical options, including the most effective, least invasive surgical treatments available. Click here to learn more about the surgery options offered at Allen Hospital, or call (319) 235-3941.

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