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Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Most people are so focused on the actual surgery that they minimize the significance of post-operation instructions and recovery.  Even if you have a great doctor and team of medical professionals looking after you, you’ve got to be careful before and after your surgery. The fact of the matter is so many people don’t bother listening to their doctor’s advice about post-surgery recovery. And you know what happens when you don’t listen to your doctor? You could end up back in the hospital or ER with a much longer recovery time.

No one wants that! Check out our tips for recovering from surgery below and keep them in mind for any future surgeries.

 You’ve got to listen to your doctor.

Some people just don’t listen to their doctor when he or she gives instructions on what to do (and what not to do!) after surgery. A lot of the times, we rush getting back into our normal schedules, picking & choosing what recommendations to follow.   There’s always a solid reasoning behind your doctor’s instructions. If he or she tells you not to get the wounded area wet for 24 hours after surgery, then you better listen up! If your doctor instructs to use a hot and cold pad every 2 hours to reduce swelling and your pain levels, then you should definitely follow those instructions.

Keep those hands washed and clean.

No matter what kind of surgery you’ve had - there’s always the chance for infection. You definitely don’t want infections to get in the way of recovery. The easiest way to do this is to keep your hands washed and clean before you touch or inspect your wound or incision. Yep, it’s that easy! You can either do this with plenty of soap and warm water or hand sanitizer.

 Keep an eye on your stitching or wounded area.

Infection can spread to your affected area after surgery without you even realizing it. That’s why you should always keep an eye on your stitching post-surgery. Even if you don’t want to look at it, be sure to check it out regularly. Examine your incision to see what the coloration looks like, whether it’s red or inflamed, and whether your stitching is intact.

 Stay hydrated and full of nutritious food.

If you’ve ever had surgery before, then you know that eating afterward and drinking tons of water isn’t your favorite thing to do. Many people just feel way too nauseous and uneasy after a long surgery. Staying properly hydrated and eating nutritious food are key parts of recovery. Your body isn’t going to be able to heal without the fuel it needs to keep going.

If you notice anything wrong, call your doctor.

The rule of thumb after surgery is that you should always call your doctor or head to the emergency room whenever you suspect something might be wrong. If you think that something’s off or your recovery isn’t going as it should, then you’re probably right! Trust those intuitions of yours - it’s always better to be safe than sorry in any case.

 Here are some things to watch out for: any bleeding around the surgical area, breathing troubles, difficulty eating or drinking regularly, discoloration around your stitching, or anything else that’s obviously not supposed to be happening.

The road to recovery.

If you take care of yourself properly after surgery and listen to what medical professionals tell you, then you’re going to be feeling better and on the road to recovery in no time. Who couldn’t use a little (doctor ordered) rest and relaxation? Now you have the perfect excuse to kick back and binge watch your favorite shows!

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