Ten Ways to Improve Your Recovery after Surgery

You may be interested in ways to heal faster, get back to work quicker, and maybe even go to the gym more quickly if you have had surgery. Recovering from surgery can be a simple process. However, some people may find it difficult to follow the instructions.

It is easy for most patients to heal after surgery. It is easy for most patients to heal quickly after surgery.


Follow the instructions of your healthcare provider.

Patients will follow the instructions they feel are most meaningful. They may ignore the ones they don’t understand or feel they should be following. Although it may seem absurd to follow no baths, following a procedure is often a good idea.

Your healthcare provider may advise you to shower only or not swim for the first few weeks following surgery.

Ask your healthcare provider or nurse if you are unsure why an instruction was given.

Keep your follow-up appointments.

Many patients don’t keep their appointments. An appointment might seem unnecessary if you feel well and your wounds are healing well. You could not be more wrong.

While your healthcare provider will ask you how you feel and whether your incisions are healing well, they may also be interested in additional information. You may not be able to see your surgeon’s incision, especially if it isn’t visible.


They might do additional blood work, check for signs of infection or make sure that your condition is well-managed after the surgery. In the weeks after surgery, you may need to adjust your medication.


Prevent infection

It is important to wash your hands after touching your incision to avoid infection.


Inspect Your Incision

Although it may not be something you enjoy, taking a look at your incision multiple times per day is essential. There are some procedures that this is not possible. However, for most procedures, a mirror allows you to take a good look at your surgical site.


Is your incision red or pink? Is there a wound drain? If so, what colour is it and how much? Are there any staples or stitches left? These are important questions. Observing your incision multiple times per day can help you determine if it is still healing or has become infected.


Drink and eat properly

After surgery, many people feel deprived of food. They feel nauseous, constipated or simply not hungry.

Staying hydrated after surgery and eating a healthy diet can promote healing and minimize common complications. This will also help you to get over any unwanted side effects. 

If your body lacks the fuel it needs, it isn’t easy to heal.

Take care when you cough and sneeze.

It’s not good enough to continue coughing and sneezing as you have done it all your life. If you cough or sneeze in the wrong direction, it can cause serious injury to your abdominal incision.

The incisions aren’t strong enough, and a violent sneeze could cause them to pop open. When you are coughing, sneezing, or going to the toilet, bracing your incision is important. If you don’t have a pillow, your hands can be used to do this.

Remember to cough regularly after surgery. It helps to prevent pneumonia.

Take Care of Your Incisions The Right Way

It would be best if you washed your hands after touching your incision. But what then? You don’t have to make it complicated to care for your incision.

Most patients don’t want their incisions too clean. Patients may want to clean their incisions and remove any scabs. Or they might want to use alcohol or peroxide for germ prevention. Unless your surgeon has instructed you otherwise, a gentle wash using soap and water will suffice. 

Although it may not look great, it is common to have to scab around your surgical staples. They could cause your incisions to heal slower if they are removed.

Incisions can be damaged by soaking them in water to clean them. After surgery, many surgeons prefer to shower than take a bath. They also discourage swimming in the initial stages of recovery.

Know when to go to the ER

Is it normal for your symptoms to be severe? You should contact your doctor or visit an emergency room if you have serious concerns.

You should see a healthcare provider if you are experiencing bleeding, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, or other symptoms.

Your primary care provider or emergency room should be your first stop if you cannot reach your surgeon.

Take control of your pain.

After surgery, it is important to keep your pain under control. Patients may be reluctant to take their prescribed pain medication because they fear addiction or other problems. Some patients feel that taking prescription pain medication indicates weakness or that they don’t like the way they feel.

If you have difficulty coughing, you may be at risk of developing pneumonia. You are at high risk of developing blood clots or pneumonia if you’re in too much pain to move.

You can keep your pain to a manageable level. (No pain is an unreasonable goal). This will allow you to move and accelerate the healing process.


Regular use of the prescribed medication is often a better way to manage pain. Waiting for severe pain to be treated with pain medication can lead to a lengthy wait for the drug’s effects.

It’s better to manage the pain and keep it at an acceptable level than wait for severe pain to get under control. It is possible to get sleep easier with good pain management. This promotes healing.

Get Moving

After surgery, it is important to walk after the procedure. Although it may seem simple, a short walk every hour can prevent serious complications such as deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia.

Walking can also help prevent one very common and annoying side effect of anaesthesia–constipation. Walking can be a gentle and effective way to get back to your regular activity. 6

Talk to your surgeon to find out when you can return to running or contact sports. It would be best if you did not swim until your wound had healed completely.

A word from Verywell

Although it shouldn’t take too much to recover from surgery, you must be willing to put in the effort and follow all instructions.

Surprisingly, many people don’t follow these instructions and then wonder why their body is experiencing pain, slow healing, or both. It is important to take your healing body time and not rush it. However, being smart can help you recover faster and return to your daily activities.

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