Recovery Guide for PostOp patients
Let me start by asking you what is Post operative care.
- Postoperative care is the care you receive after undergoing a surgical procedure.
- Appropriate follow-up care can help reduce any risk of complications after surgery and support your recovery process.
- Before you have surgery, ask your doctor what the postoperative care will involve.
Postoperative care is the care you receive after a surgical procedure. The type of postoperative care you need depends on the type of surgery you have, as well as your health history. It often includes pain management and wound care.
Postoperative care begins immediately after surgery. It lasts for the duration of your hospital stay and may continue after you’ve been discharged. As part of your postoperative care, your healthcare provider should teach you about the potential side effects and complications of your procedure.
Before you have surgery, ask your doctor what the postoperative care will involve. This will give you time to prepare beforehand. Your doctor may revise some of their instructions after your surgery, based on how your surgery went and how well you’re recovering.
Prepare ahead of time
Before you go into any surgery, you would have many questions, doubts, uncertainties which is normal. Ask as many questions as possible before your surgery.
Ask your doctor questions including:
- What should I expect after my surgery?
- How long will I be staying in the hospital?
- Will you be prescribing me any special medications when I go home?
- Will I be needing a caregiver at home?
- Any side effects I should be prepared for?
- What complications should I watch out for?
- When can I resume normal activity?
Your hospital will help you get your doubts addressed. The answers can help you prepare ahead of time. If you expect to need help from a caregiver, arrange for it before your surgery. It’s also important to learn how to prevent, recognize, and respond to possible complications.
Postoperative care in the hospital
After your surgery is complete, you will be moved to the ICU or a recovery room usually for a brief while and then to your patient ward, depending on the protocol of each Hospital. You’ll probably stay there for a couple of hours while you wake up from anesthesia. You’ll feel a bit drowsy when you wake up. Some people also feel nausea, have a vomitting sensation.
While you’re in the recovery room, staff will monitor your vitals including BP, breathing, temperature, and pulse. They may ask you to take deep breaths to assess your lung function. They may check your surgical site for signs of bleeding or infection. They will also watch for signs of an allergic reaction. For many types of surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia. Anesthesia may cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Once you’re stable, you’ll be moved to a hospital room if you’re staying overnight, or you’ll be moved elsewhere to begin your discharge process.
Outpatient surgery is also known as same-day surgery. Unless you show signs of postoperative problems, you’ll be discharged on the same day as your procedure. You won’t need to stay overnight.
Before you’re discharged, you must demonstrate that you’re able to breathe normally, drink, and urinate. You won’t be allowed to drive immediately following a surgery with anesthesia. Make sure you have someone to take you home or arrange transportation home, preferably ahead of time. You may feel drowsy into the following day.
If you have inpatient surgery, you’ll need to stay in the hospital overnight to continue receiving postoperative care. You may need to stay for several days or longer.
Your postoperative care will continue after you’ve been transferred out of the initial recovery room or ICU ward. You will probably still have an intravenous (IV) catheter in your arm, a finger device that measures oxygen levels in your blood, and a dressing on your surgical site. Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may also have a breathing apparatus, a heartbeat monitor, and a tube in your mouth, nose, or bladder.
The hospital staff will continue to monitor your vital signs. They may also give you pain relievers or other medications through your IV, by injection, or orally. Depending on your condition, they may ask you to get up and walk around. You may need assistance to do this. Moving will help you maintain your muscle strength. You may be asked to do deep breathing exercises or forced coughing to prevent respiratory complications.
Your doctor will decide when you’re ready to be discharged. Remember to ask for discharge instructions before you leave. If you know that you’ll need ongoing care at home, make preparations ahead of time.
Postoperative care at home
It’s very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions after you leave the hospital. Take medications as prescribed, watch out for potential complications, and keep your follow-up appointments. The Onward app helps you take your medications on time, complete your physiotherapy routine by guiding through the exercise videos, and also ensures you’re able to complete the followup appointments and tests on time.
Don’t overdo things if you’ve been instructed to rest. On the other hand, don’t neglect physical activity if you’ve been given the go ahead to move around. Start to resume normal activities as soon as you safely can. Most of the time, it’s best to gradually return to your normal routine.
In some cases, you may not be able to care for yourself for a while after your surgery. You may need a caregiver to help take care of your wounds, prepare food, keep you clean, and support you while you move around. If you don’t have a family member or friend who can help, make sure to make arrangements for the right amount of nutritious food.
Contact your doctor if you develop a fever, increased pain, or bleeding at the surgical site. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you have questions or aren’t recovering as well as expected. The Onward app helps contact your care team easily, and also share any pictures, symptoms of what you’re experiencing
Appropriate follow-up care can help reduce your risk of complications after surgery and support your recovery process. Ask your doctor for instructions before you have your surgery and check for updates before you leave the hospital. Contact your doctor if you suspect you’re experiencing complications or your recovery isn’t going well. With a little planning and proactive care, you can help make your recovery as smooth as possible.
Tips for a Faster Recovery
- Get enough sleep. Sleep helps your body heal.
- Take your medication as directed. Be sure to finish all of your antibiotics if ordered.
- Eat healthy foods. Good nutrition including lean protein is important for healing. Talk to your doctor if you are on a special diet.
- Drink good amount of water. Staying hydrated can help with problems like constipation.
- Do not smoke after your surgery. Smoking can delay your healing.
- Go to all your follow-up appointments. It is important for your doctor to check your progress and healing.
Before you leave the hospital, make sure you know who to contact if you have questions or problems after you get home. The Onward app helps you keep in touch with your care team even after you have been discharged.