Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 28, 2019
Spine surgery, even in its minimally invasive form, takes a significant toll on your body and will result in some time in a recovery ward. Some patients may be discharged on the same day, while others will spend a number of days recovering before they are allowed to leave. No matter whether you’re being discharged on the same day or you’re going to be staying a while, your time in the recovery ward can be a little stressful. Today, we’re going to share some tips to make this time a little easier on you.
Post-Op Recovery Tips
Reducing stress and making your life easier on yourself while you’re waiting to be discharged can be beneficial for both your mental and physical health. But how can you do this in the recovery room after spine surgery? Consider these tips.
- Education – One of the best ways to keep your mind occupied and calm any fears about life after surgery is to educate yourself about your condition and rehabilitation. Ask the surgeon or the medical team for any resources about your surgery, your physical therapy or expectations after the operation. Knowing what’s ahead of you can help you mentally prepare for your rehab, which can help you manage expectations and goals.
- Entertainment – It’s a good idea to pack some entertainment options in your overnight bag if you’re going to be staying a while after surgery. Pack some books, crossword puzzles or games, or get some things done on your computer or phone. Do some holiday shopping or get some work done while you’re out of the office. Plan ahead so your brain stays engaged if you’re going to be in a bed for the majority of the day.
- Visitors – A visit from family or friends while you’re recovering can be just what the doctor ordered after an operation, but make sure they follow protocol. Ask your surgical team about their visitor protocol, and pass this information on to anyone who might stop by while you’re recovering. If you’re tired and don’t want to see any visitors, let your surgical team know and we can let visitors know that it’s not the best time.
- Hydration – Staying hydrated while you recover can really help to keep you from getting uncomfortable. Not only will it help healthy blood flow to your recovering spine, but it can also prevent cramps or constipation, both of which can be very painful right after a back operation. You might think that your water intake isn’t that important because you’re not as active and therefore not losing as many fluids, but it’s important to make it a point to drink plenty of water while you’re recovering.
- Pain Care – Finally, talk to your surgical team about managing pain after your operation. Pain is usually the worst within the first 48 hours, so develop a plan for staying ahead of your pain and managing any flare ups. Your team is going to try and give you the lowest dose possible to manage pain and help prevent dependence, so talk to them if you think your dose needs to be increased or decreased.
For more tips for making your stay in the hospital less stressful after a spine operation, or to set up your back surgery, contact Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.