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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Surgery Tips

I wanted to put together a few of the tips for patients that will be going through brain surgery or other major surgeries. I've been through 8 or so myself and currently recovering from one now, so I hope these help:

1. HYDRATE: Increase your intake of water 2-3 days prior to surgery date. This will help cleanse your system and help prep your body for anesthesia, pain killers, antibiotics, etc.

2. TAKE PROBIOTICS: I've been on these for years and I've noticed a huge different in my overall digestive health and immunity. I recommend if you aren't taking one now to get on them at least prior and after surgery. The antibiotics that patients are put on after surgery are usually strong and will kill any good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics help put back the good bacteria which aid in digestion, which also becomes important if you're on pain killers since they cause constipation. Which will lead me to my third point....

3. STOOL SOFTENERS/HERBAL LAXATIVES: Most doctors will prescribe a stool softener after surgery, but most of the time those don't do too much. I still feel it's a good idea to take them, but also combine with a herbal laxative (like Swiss Kriss) every other day until you're back to normal. This takes about a week.

4. WALK (If Allowed): They encourage movement while you're in the hospital so you don't get blood clots. This is important to do at home as well. If you have a treadmill start walking a little bit and build up to a decent pace, but don't push yourself. If you don't have a treadmill you can go to YouTube and pull up "walking exercises" that you can do in your own home.

5. MULTI-VITAMINS: During the first few days of recovery you'll probably be sleeping a lot and not eating too much. Therefore it's essential to take a good multi-vitamin (like GNC brand) to ensure you're getting all your nutrients.

6. CLEANSING WIPES: These are great to have on hand both in the hospital and while at home. They especially come in handy when you can't shower/bathe.

7. WASHABLE HEADBANDS: I found these helpful to use if you have long hair and are unable to wash it for a few days. It allows you to keep the hair out of your face. And you don't have to worry about germs because they're washable. I bought 3 myself on Amazon prior to surgery.

8. PICC LINE (If you have one): I'm on my second picc line and take a shower is a huge chore because you cannot get the picc line wet. The hospitals will usually give you a arm guard, but if you have an extender on your picc line this won't do it. Most doctors/nurses tell you to use saran wraps and tape and yes, that does help repel moisture. But sometimes you don't have someone always around to help wrap your arm. So I found a thing called "ShowerSOC" on Amazon and they are great! They come in two sizes and take about 10 seconds to put on. They come in a pack or 7 or 25 and are disposable. I get about few uses out of each one.

Have another tip? Please share!

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