Shooting for the stars-Optimizing your outcome after surgery
PAIN: Though some pain is expected after surgery, you should not be too uncomfortable. In fact, pain delays recovery, leads to complications and we strongly suggest that you keep your pain score between 1 & 3 during your entire hospital stay. If you have a PCA pump, use it frequently. If you do not have a pump, then ask your nurse appropriately for pain killers. Do not wait until the pain gets bad because then you are only catching up and you will not get adequate relief. Request a pain killer injection or pill even before your pain gets bad.
ACTIVITY: Activity and early ambulation is most important during your hospital stay. The more active you are, the faster your recovery! Walk around the floor a few times a day. Even when you are lying in bed, you can keep yourself active by moving your legs and feet. Instead of using the bed, try to sit in the chair for most of the day.
BREATHING EXRECISES: Deep breathing exercises are very important during your post-operative recovery period. Sit up in your bed, take a deep breath and expand your chest routinely. It is recommended that you do deep breathing exercises with the Incentive Spirometer at least 10 times every hour.
FAMILY SUPPORT: We encourage families to be actively involved and present during your hospitalization. Family members play an important part in emotional support, encouraging physical activity and recovery. We request them to remind you about breathing exercises, leg exercises and deep breathing at least once every hour. As soon as your nurse or physical therapist allows, they may also take you for a walk on the floor.
FOOD: Food is not important during this part of your recovery. You won’t have much of an appetite, may have some nausea and feel bloated. And that’s OK. We do recommend early feeding but that’s to stimulate you GI system, not for nutrition. During your hospital stay we use Ensure or Boost for nutrition. So just eat little portions only. Chewing gum is also recommended during your hospital stay.