Make a list, stock your fridge, pack a bag

Tips For After Surgery

So, you read what to do to prepare before surgery, but what about after? If you need to stay over night, what should you pack? How are you going to feel after surgery and what will you be able to do? Are there certain foods to eat while recovering?

Here are a few tips I found helpful after my surgery:

Pack an overnight bag

It is very unlikely you will have to stay overnight in the hospital, but there are occasional cases in which surgery may require overnight monitoring. By having a bag packed already, it can help save you some stress.

So, what should you pack?

  • Any electronics you will need or want- this can be phone, iPad, and any chargers needed.
  • There is a chance you may have bleeding after surgery so bring extra underwear and pads.
  • Slippers or socks
  • Loose clothing such as baggy shirts, night gowns (highly recommend), or anything without a waistband
  • Bathroom essentials
  • A favorite blanket or stuffed animal to cuddle with
  • Books, magazines, cards, or anything small to carry that you find relaxing to do.
  • Medications (such as stool softeners & throat lozenges).

Prepare post-surgery meals

In my experience, you will want to prepare at least a weeks’ worth of meals before surgery day. I had learned quickly that I did not feel like doing any cooking. I recommend having meals that just need to be warmed up. Everyone is different, but for me, light meals sat better on my stomach. You may be nauseated from the medicines given to you or the anesthesia, so things like chicken broth, light soups, crackers or toast may be on your menu for a day or two. Ginger ale, sipped very slowly through a straw, helped any stomachaches or nausea I experienced. Be sure to also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Some other meals that sat well on my stomach were light turkey sandwiches, Jell-O, popsicles, and applesauce. Make sure to stay away from dairy or anything acidic or spicy following surgery.

What to expect

Recovery will be different for everyone. None the less, for the first few days, you may become tired easily. You may also feel pain from the gas they used during surgery. I was able to control this by lying flat on my back, and taking Gas-X. Keep your heating pad close by too. During surgery, you will have a tube down your throat to help you breathe, so afterwards, you may have a sore throat. For me, throat lozenges cleared this up quickly!

It is recommended that you do not do any heavy lifting, bending, jumping, or exercising while recovering. However, if your doctor recommends it, it is very crucial to get up and walk around (slowly!) every once in a while. This keeps your body moving so that you do not cramp up. It also really helped with my bloated belly. Of course, make sure to not over do it. When walking around, be sure to have someone standing near you to help assist. Rest is also important, so follow any post-op instructions given by your doctor.

Other post-op considerations

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, walking up and down stairs is ok- but still be careful. Do not forget that you won't be able to drive after surgery and will not be back driving until you are done taking any narcotics and feel strong. Depending on your specific surgery, doctors will likely suggest no sex for two to six weeks while you recover. Following surgery, your first period may also be awful. There may be a lot of blood and pain. This is natural. During surgery, a lot of your reproductive organs were being worked on. It will take a while for them to properly heal. You may be in pain after surgery, resulting in the doctor prescribing pain medication. Most pain meds cause constipation. If your doctor approves, taking a stool softener with your pain medication may help keep everything flowing and prevent any pain.

Remember, you've got this and you will recover. Enjoy this time to relax and watch Netflix!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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