REST. Remember, you are the patient. You need to heal. Don’t have too high of expectations for yourself. You don’t get extra points for being a martyr. Plan ahead for help and USE it!
This will likely be the most challenging night of your recovery. The anesthesia medicines will still be slowly leaving your system. The interactions of all the medicines along with any pain you might have can be a confusing time for your body and mind. Preparing for this time can help be of tremendous benefit. These preparations should start long before your surgery date. First, stay off of aspirin containing products like Excedrin, avoid vitamin E, and minimize the use of ibuprofen as these can increase your chance of bleeding.
Adding ruffage to your diet for the days prior to surgery will make the days after your surgery easier. Taking a stool softener will make the chore of going to the restroom after surgery less burdensome. Don’t eat a big steak dinner the night before surgery.
Drink lots liquids the days before and after your surgery (remember nothing for 8 hours before surgery). Avoid dairy products the first 24 hours after surgery to be sure your stomach will tolerate the medicines you have been prescribed. In general if you treat yourself like you are recovery from the flu you will do better. No to steak and eggs, yes to chicken noodle soup, crackers and toast.
Use your prescribed meds. Once you are able to get on a schedule with your meds you will avoid the highs and lows of the use of narcotics and eventually be able to wean off them completely. I recommend the use of muscle relaxants particularly if your abdominal muscles have been tightened. This will ward off muscle spasms which is often the worse part of this recovery.
In general, find a position of comfort. If you have had your abdominal wall tightened you will want to rest bent at the hips to a certain degree. This means lying flat in bed will be out of the question. Using a recliner, or placing pillows behind you to prop you up will really help your comfort level. You may need help moving from these position to reach the restroom so make sure your helper is nearby.
It is import to walk some even on the day of your surgery. This will help you feel more human, allow you to reach the bathroom, encourage deep breathing, and help to move your bowels.
Typically there is little that needs to be done with your dressing after surgery. Usually I will apply steristrips on the incision directly followed by gauze and pads. All of this is held in place with an abdominal binder. Occasionally if this is too tight you may loosen it to aid in you comfort. Your drain will need to be managed only in the sense that it might need to be emptied. Your family member or friend who helped you home should have been taught how to care for this necessary apparatus.
Sleep is an important part of recovery. It is one of Mother Natures ways of recharging. It is important to listen to your body. Your brain will tell you to do this and do that but unless you rest you will only hinder your recovery. I tell my patients that they need to think of their body’s energy level like a battery. You need 90% of your energy to heal from the surgery if you work out, run errands, grocery shop, or have lunch with your girlfriends too soon you will be using energy needed to heal and this could lead to an energy deficit which will put you in a weakened state increasing your chance for complications.
Relax as much as you can and be grateful you won’t have to deal with the little Buddha Belly you have been stuffing in your jeans for the last several years.
Contact Dr. Kobienia’s plastic surgery office to arrange your consultation today at 952-925-1111.