Top 3 ways to recover after surgery

After having surgery, there will be a set period of time given for you to recover. While this may begin in hospital, it's likely that the majority of this will be spent at home, depending on the type and nature of surgery received. While it's always best to seek individual medical advice most suited to your unique needs and requirements, follow these handy tips to ensure your recovery process is as quick and healthy as possible.

Make a fresh start

Seeing your operation as an opportunity to assess your life and make changes where need be can turn the experience into a more positive one. This is a powerful and effective recovery tool, as your mindset can make a huge difference on your outlook and physical health so you can enjoy more active living.

Using the immediate post-op time as a way to think about your lifestyle habits and how these can be modified into healthier, safe ones can be beneficial both now and in the long run. Recovering from surgery is the ideal time to quit smoking, do more exercise and ensure you eat a balanced diet.

According to a paper in The Journal of Nutrition, amino acids – found in the protein food group – are essential for assisting body metabolism and in turn help the body to repair itself more quickly. 

Create a plan

Ask your surgeon, physician or other qualified medical professional to outline your expected recovery progress in a timeline. Understanding the nature and length of your own estimated recovery procedure is helpful to make sure that you don't exert too much pressure on your body, as well as giving you realistic goals to work towards so you can continue your independent living

An article in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery found that an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program helped "improve postoperative recovery, reduce length of stay and enhance early return to normal function" for these particular types of operations when compared to standard post-surgery recovery processes.

Follow prescribed treatment

It's always important to complete the entire dose of antibiotics or other prescribed medicines and this is especially the case when recovering from an operation. Ensuring that you're taking the required levels of painkillers and other drugs will assist in recovery times – never ignore pain and consult a doctor if you're experiencing particular discomfort or unusual symptoms. 

Failure to take a full course of treatment should be a concern for not only your individual health but the wellbeing of others too – according to data held by the World Health Organisation, approximately 170,000 deaths in 2012 were caused by a strain of TB that had become resistant to medicine, partially a result of individuals failing to follow prescribed medication courses.