7 Tips for Post-Surgery Recovery
I've had 5 laparoscopic surgeries to date, and, over the years, I’ve picked up a few tips for the recovery period that follows.
Here's some things that might help you with your recovery, post-surgery:
Make sure you get everything as organized as possible beforehand. Check you have all your medications, meal prep so you don't need to do any cooking, and make sure you have plenty of sanitary pads for any post-surgery bleeding.
It's also helpful to have all your medical paperwork and doctors numbers to hand, in case of any complications.
Drink plenty of hot, still drinks
During laparoscopic surgery, your doctor will inflate your abdomen with carbon dioxide. This gives your doctor a bit more space to look around. The gas will naturally dissipate over the following days, but in that time it can cause a lot of discomfort - especially around your shoulders.
In general, keep your fluid intake up, but to help the gas, drink plenty of hot and still drinks. I would also advise that you DO NOT go near any fizzy drinks!
Drinking peppermint tea can help with the gas discomfort I mentioned above. Peppermint is known to aid digestion and can relieve symptoms such as gas, bloating, and indigestion.
You can also find peppermint in capsule form if you don’t like the taste of the tea.
Massage the gas away
Another tip to aid with the gas pains is plenty of shoulder massages!
Try a hot water bottle
On top of any prescribed pain relief, heat therapy is great for a sore tummy.
... But, if you have endometriosis, you will most likely have a hot water bottle or heat pad to hand at most times anyway!
Wear loose clothing
When I went for my first laparoscopy, I thought it would be a good idea to wear jeans to come home in! Of course, with an inflated and very sore tummy, there was no way my jeans were ever doing-up!
Nowadays, I like to wear something very loose and comfortable. For going home, I prefer leggings (or, even better, maternity leggings!) and then I’ll change into loose pajama bottoms (that sit above or below my wounds), or a nightdress (that doesn’t put any pressure on my tummy at all), when I get home.
I would also suggest that you invest in some very big and hugely un-sexy granny pants!
Pack a pamper pack
I like to pack myself a "pamper pack" full of things to cheer me up when I come out of hospital.
Here’s some suggestions of things you could include:
- Something nice to eat, like your favorite chocolates
- A face mask, hand cream, and lip balm - hospital air always dries my skin out so much!
- A bath bomb for when you're allowed a soak
- Comfortable clothes - I packed a new snuggly cardigan last time!
- Warm socks
- A candle
- A new book to read
- A coloring book and pens, or a puzzle book
Above all, follow your doctors orders and rest as much as you can!
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