Health Care Post-Surgery

Are you about to undergo surgery? Or is a loved one scheduled to visit the hospital for an operation?

Whether you’re having a quick stop at the ambulatory surgery clinic or will be staying several days at the hospital, making arrangements ahead of time will make it a less stressful experience for you and your loved ones.

Avoid post-surgery complications with these home health care essentials

Did you know that the first three days of recovery following surgery has the highest incidence of post-surgery complications?

These include but are not limited to wound infection, pneumonia, and pulmonary embolism

(blood clots travel to your lung). Pain, trouble sleeping, and urinary retention are also common discomforts following a surgical procedure.

While your doctor’s clinic will provide you with home health care instructions specific to your surgery,  ensuring that you have the essentials listed below can also make a difference in how quickly you’ll recover.

In this article, you’ll discover seven essentials to a comfortable, quick recovery after surgery.

1. Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes

Loose-fitting clothes

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Surgery, whether it was scheduled or emergency, isn’t fun at all.  You don’t want a tight waistband rubbing against your fresh incisions.

Forget tight-fitting home wear for now and get some extra comfortable clothing before surgery. Cotton underpants are also a great idea. Some post-surgery underwear brands are designed to protect incisions while providing compression support at the same time.

2. Incision care supplies

Incision care supplies

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After surgery, incision care is essential to prevent wound infection. Ask your nurse or clinic about the specific type of incision care supplies you’ll be needing post-surgery.

3. Prescription and over the counter medications


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Ask your physician if they can write your prescription drugs, like pain relief meds,  days before surgery. After surgery, you should avoid unnecessary trips to the pharmacy to have your prescriptions filled.

The same goes for over-the-counter medications such as anti-allergy meds and fiber supplements to help prevent constipation post-op.

You might also want to stock up on supplements such as Vitamin C, Arginine, and Zinc, which have been shown to help accelerate wound healing resulting from pressure ulcers post-surgery.

4. Antibacterial wipes, soaps, and hand sanitizer

hand sanitizer

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Like your incision care supplies, these essentials will help prevent infection on the surgical site. Keep your hands clean with frequent handwashing and avoid touching the surgical site as much as possible.

5. Slide sheets

Besides proper incision care and a nourishing diet, adequate sleep helps you recover faster from surgery. However, getting enough sleep can be tricky the first few days post-surgery.

For example, you might have trouble sleeping after hip replacement surgery because turning over in bed can be a struggle.

Consider buying slide sheets to help you move in bed with ease. With its smooth, low-friction material, a slide sheet on top of your bed sheet makes turning over in bed more effortless.

By changing positions often in bed, you’ll avoid the dreaded pressure ulcers that typically happen when you’re lying on the same side in bed for longer periods.

Besides helping people move in bed with less pain and effort, caregivers and health care professionals also use slide sheets to support independent living amongst patients with limited mobility following surgery.

6. Delicious, nourishing meals

nourishing meals

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Ordering pizza for the next few days after surgery may sound like a great idea (zero dishes to wash!).

However, what you put on your plate will significantly impact how quickly your wound heals and how fast your energy levels will return. Your body needs micronutrient-rich, nourishing meals post-surgery. After all, food is medicine.

Days leading up to your surgery,  take the time to make delicious and nourishing make-ahead meals.  Ask a family member or friend to help you with cooking and freezing portions.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. A simple bone broth, veggie casserole, and overnight oats will minimize the stress of coming up with a hearty, nourishing meal post-surgery.

You also need to eat more fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation. Stock up on fruits and vegetables that you can quickly prepare, such as steamed broccoli and lettuce wraps. Pizza and ice cream can wait once you’ve fully recovered!

7. Books, games, and access to streaming services


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The next few days after surgery is no walk in the park. When you’re recovering, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and all sorts of negative emotions.

Next to the pain and discomfort, you might find yourself bored, lonely, or feeling restless, particularly if you’re used to checking off things on your to-do list.  The limited movements post-surgery may even make some patients feel that they’re useless.

Whether you’re staying at home for just a few days or one whole month, be prepared to have “bad days”. You can make these terrible times more bearable by indulging yourself with a good read, a riveting TV show, or getting busy with your Nintendo Switch.

With proper planning, it’s possible to engage in activities that don’t require much physical engagement but are enjoyable at the same time.

Take it easy and focus on your healing

If you have scheduled surgery coming up, it’s a smart move to stock up on things that can help you recover well through proper diet, getting quality sleep, comfort, and a positive outlook. Planning and preparing in advance will allow you to focus on healing later on.

Have you undergone surgery and failed to prepare the essentials listed above?

What would you have done differently?

About The Author:

Tara Scarlett is passionate about health and fitness. As a professional nurse, she always finds ways to improve and learn new things. Aside from hospital work and writing, she also loves to travel and do DIY crafts at home.

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