Needing to have surgery is never a fun sensation. Quite often, there’s a wave of relief that comes when the surgery is done as you’ve made it through and your issue is dealt with, and soon you’ll be able to get back to your regular life. Of course, you still have to go through the healing stage. The following will walk you through the steps necessary for caring for a surgical wound.
Listen To Your Medical Professional
Before we begin, it is crucial that you listen to the suggestions and prescriptions of your surgeon or doctor. The following are well-researched guidelines that can help people who are recovering from surgery. This being said, everyone’s body is different. Everyone’s surgery is different. A doctor will tailor their advice to you and your specific context.
Of course, if something feels wrong about the advice given by your doctor or for some other reason you’re uncomfortable with what is being asked of you, it is always okay to seek out another opinion. In fact, if you are feeling doubt, you should talk to another medical professional. We like to think that all doctors are the same, but there are varying degrees of different approaches to healthcare within the same system. Sometimes one doctor’s approach works for one patient, and another doctor’s methodology works for another patient.
It is also completely okay to speak to a naturopath or another form of doctor like a physiotherapist in tandem with the conversation you’re having with your traditional doctor. Quite often, approaching healing from multiple directions at once can produce beautifully powerful results.
If Something Isn’t Working For You
Humans are pretty adaptive animals, and this means that we tend to get used to things that we don’t always need to. If you are uncomfortable, speak up about it to your support system at home and to your doctor. Sometimes all it takes is a medical tape converter to change up the shape and fit of medical adhesive. Sometimes a medication you were offered has a side effect that isn’t great, and your doctor will suggest an alternative. If any part of the process isn’t working for you, talk about it. Find solutions. We’ve all had that situation where we put up with something for far too long because we didn’t know there was an alternative. Always ask. There could be a simple, easy solution that could make this whole healing process easier to handle.
First and foremost, remind yourself that you are recovering. Be gentle with yourself. Yes, you want to get on with your life, but your body needs time. Be cautious of movements that pull at the wound area. Sometimes something as simple as pulling open the cutlery drawer requires more abdominal muscle use than you remember. If this is where your stitches are, you might want to let someone else get the utensils out for a meal (or keep them on the counter for easy access so you can do it yourself).
Wash Your Hands Before Touching
Preventing infection is one of the major components of recovering from surgery. To do this, one of the most important steps you can take is to wash your hands before you touch the incision. If you’re changing bandages or gently wiping the area as per your doctors’ instructions, make sure your hands are clean first.
Keep An Eye On Your Incision
The human eye is fantastic at noticing minute changes. This being said, to do this, you’ve got to look at your incision regularly. Take note of any changes in swelling or color (maybe even keep a healing journal). Are the stitches or staples, or bandages intact? Is there anything draining from the wound? What color is it? If you watch for the signs of infection, you’ll be able to act quickly and prevent the infection from spreading. Again, preventing infection is a huge part of the healing process.
It’s no secret that most of us don’t eat as well as we should. When you’re healing, it is of the utmost importance that you’re getting the minerals, nutrients, and calories you need. Even if you can’t feel the progress, your body is working double-time to recover and needs support from you. As a jumping-off point, you’re going to want to lean towards an anti-inflammatory diet (this will also reduce pain and be great for your overall health). Consider finding some bone broth as well because the bone stock has massive amounts of collagen in it, which your body will use to heal.
The above steps should help you along the healing process. Always listen to your body. If something feels wrong or off, don’t ignore it. Speak to your doctor immediately.