After surgery, a body is in recovery mode. It is working overtime to help heal any incision wounds and injuries. This is a time to rest and follow every aftercare instruction given by the surgeon and medical care team. Everybody wants a speedy recovery and a quicker return to normal activities. There are a few common mistakes after surgery that slow your recovery to avoid.
Returning to normal activities too soon or avoiding them
Following your surgical team and medical providers’ advice and recommendations on when to return to normal activity is extremely important for your recovery, no matter what type of surgery you underwent. Many people feel anxious to return to activity and push themselves to return to normal before their bodies are ready. This can lead to infection, stitches bursting, and further injuries that force the patient into a longer recovery period.
Another common mistake is when people stay bedridden for longer than recommended. Many patients are fearful of prolonging their recovery or becoming ill or injured again, so they avoid the return to normal activities. This can cause further complications such as bedsores, weakening of muscles, and prolonging recovery time to address the new issues.
Ignoring signs of complications
Ignoring signs of complications is another common mistake that slows their recovery time post-operation. After surgery, many surgeons provide a list of symptoms and signs to watch for that could signal a need for additional follow-up care. Often, they list signs of infections, such as swelling, discoloration, pain, and leakage, as reasons to contact your care team for further treatment. If you feel strange or notice anything abnormal about your incision site, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.
Missing follow-up calls and appointments with medical providers
Missing follow-up calls and appointments is another common mistake that patients make. When patients start to feel better, they often neglect their follow-up care, believing they have already healed. Healing is a complex process that needs to close monitoring by a surgeon and a team of doctors. Just because a wound may feel better doesn’t mean it has completely healed. Often, when patients start feeling better, the wound is nearly healed but still extra sensitive and easy to re-injure. Follow all doctor orders and attend all follow-up visits. For example, many surgeons recommend that patients wear medical compression tights for the first week after surgery to help with circulatory issues. If a patient decides they feel better and stops wearing them after a few days, then swelling can return, lengthening the recovery process. Follow all doctor recommendations and orders for the safest and fastest recovery time.
Take all precautions to protect against a slowed recovery time or worsened conditions that your doctor or care team recommends. Contact a physician if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery process.