Post Operative Care – Guidelines and Tips for recovery at home
Post operative care means care given to patients who have undergone surgery. It starts immediately after surgery commences in operating room itself, then post-surgical unit and even continues at patient’s home until the period of surgical wound is healed. The type and length of post-operative care depends upon the kind of surgery, the patient received.
For simple surgical cases, patients can take care of themselves. While in some surgical procedures like hip surgery, spine surgery, cardiac surgery professional nursing care is needed. Here are some guidelines to follow and tips to take care of post operative patients at home.
Post Operative care Guidelines
The post operative care guideline varies for each individual and different surgical procedures.
Some of the common basic post operative guidelines are:
Effective Pain Management
Pain in surgical site and generalized pain are the commonest suffering for post operative patients. If it is not managed effectively, it leads to considerable stress and anxiety which is the biggest foe for recovery. Chronic stress precipitates disturbed immune function and thus by possibility of getting infection is more. Professional assistance is recommended for major post surgical care.
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Proper intake of medication is crucial for wound healing and patient recovery. Taking medication at right time as per Doctor’s advice is vital.
Surgical wound care
Wound infections are quite common for those who are immune-compromised and those who are not taking care of the wound properly. Depends upon the surgery, wound care varies. Professional assistance helps.
Prevention of DVT & PE
For prolonged bedridden surgical cases, chances of getting DVT is more. Elastic stockings, Ankle and foot exercises, Blood thinners (as per Doctor’s advice), early mobilization (if advised) helps to prevent DVT & PE.
Prevention of Pneumonia
Surgical patients are predisposed to develop lower respiratory tract infection like pneumonia due to intubation, debilitation, reduced chest ventilation and changes in commensals during hospital stay. Patients with prolonged bed rest and decreased mobility are at high risk. Early mobilization as per Doctor’s advice and Chest Physiotherapy prevent patients from Pneumonia.
Things to Understand
There are some signs and symptoms which are common for post surgical illness. Patients need not worry about this but getting essential care helps them to recover fast.
– Pain on surgical site
– Sleep disturbances
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Tips for Early recovery
– Staying in comfortable place
– Good hygienic surroundings
– Being hydrated
– Nutritious diet and regimen
– Proper rest and sleep
– Allowing to get help from others
– Watching movies & listening to music
– Spending time with loved ones
Everyone recovers at their own rate. Post operative care is battle but when it is effective, it hastens recovery and return back to normal.
Above all, patient’s attitude to react and respond to their illness determines the recovery rate. The more you rely on your family members, friends and your medical team, easier the recovery will be.
Author: Dr. Raji Arabi