Five Post Surgery Tips to Keep in Mind
Recovering after surgery is a different experience for everyone but there are a few general tips that are helpful to keep in mind. Remember that recommendations will vary according to your individual circumstance so check with a medical professional before you act on any of the advice given.
In order to aid healing you should avoid any strenuous exercise or movement which will stretch or rub your wounds especially in the first two weeks after surgery. That doesn’t mean you can’t do any exercise at all however. Staying still for two weeks isn’t good for anyone and is not recommended! A few light walks in this period will stop you from getting restless and keep circulation flowing.
After the first ten days you can try some moderate exercise like a cycling on an exercise bike or a taking a longer walk. After six weeks you’ll be able to engage in high impact exercise.
It’s an obvious one, but surgery is an ordeal for your body and you need to intersperse light exercise with enough rest to give yourself time to heal. Rushing ahead and trying to get back to normal before your body has had enough to time to recoup will be counterproductive and could lead to complications. Let yourself have some time off and enjoy the rest period – it’s a great opportunity to take a break from your hectic daily schedule!
The amount of rest you need varies according to the type of surgery you have had; consult with your surgeon about this.
After you’ve had surgery you’ll want to wear clothes which are light, comfortable and won’t constrain or pull on your wounds. Avoid things with elasticated bands or tight clothing. If you’re not totally put off by the onesie revolution then it’s the perfect garment to wear post-surgery. Not only are they cosy and comfortable but they’ll also keep you warm and are loose fitting enough to avoid catching scars or pulling on healing wounds.
There are plenty of things you can do to try and reduce scarring but it’s important to keep in mind that scarring is a risk of having surgery and in some instances there’s not much that can be done to eradicate scars. Everyone scars differently; some patients will have minimal, neat and barely visible scars, other patients’ scars will take longer to fade. Here are a couple of things you can try to manage your scarring:
– Moisturise – once the scars have formed, using a moisturiser once or twice a day is helpful. Some people prefer to use Bio-Oil but there’s no evidence that this is better than a normal moisturiser.
– Silicone tape – for tummy and breast scars silicone tape can often reduce scarring, but must be worn as much as possible within the first 3-4 months to be of value. It’s best to speak to a medical professional if you are interested in this.
It’s also important to avoid exposing your scars to the sun for the first 6-12 months. Scar tissue often doesn’t have any pigmentation and this means it has no natural protection to combat the sun.
5. Showers not baths
Wounds cover themselves in a special kind of human super-glue almost immediately, which means you can actually shower straight away. In some instances you may have shower proof dressings on in the first week, but your team will let you know if this is necessary and it’s not the norm. After 2-3 days your wounds should have healed themselves meaning you can get them completely wet in the shower. What you mustn’t do is soak in the bath or go swimming. Baths are not hygienic for wounds and can soak off the natural ‘glue’ and cause infection.
If you have any concerns about your post-surgery recovery then please speak to a member of our Nottingham based team on 0115 9624535.