Your Role in Recovery

Your role in recovery

After you have returned home

Re-read the discharge instructions and follow your doctor’s orders regarding surgical site care, rest, medication, diet and activity.

Deep breathing and controlled coughing help clear the lungs and aid in circulation. This can help prevent pneumonia.

Walking and moving your legs will aid blood flow and body functions. This will help prevent blood clots. Stand up slowly to avoid getting dizzy. If you had leg or foot surgery, follow your doctor’s instructions regarding putting weight on the affected side. Remember rest periods are important as well.

Follow any specific diet and/or fluid restrictions. A healthy diet and drinking water helps heal your body.

To help prevent constipation while taking pain relievers, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Please ask your doctor if a stool softener would be helpful.

Follow specific instructions given by your doctor regarding incision and bandage care to aid in healing and preventing infection. Wash your hands before and after touching your bandage and incision.

Pain medication helps reduce pain to a tolerable level, usually to 5 and under on a scale of 1–10.

Pain Management

Do not take additional Tylenol/acetaminophen while taking narcotic pain medication. Most pain medication already has Tylenol/acetaminophen in it. The maximum dose of Tylenol/acetaminophen in a 24-hour period is 4000mg.

Take pain medication with food (unless told not to) to minimize nausea.

Try to arrange taking pain medication before activity that may cause discomfort.

When you are relaxed, pain medication works better. Try the tips below to help increase your level of relaxation:

  • Dim lighting and listen to soft, relaxing music
  • Position yourself for comfort
  • Take a deep breath and exhale. As you exhale fell your body begin to relax from your head to your toes
  • Imagine yourself in a calm, peaceful place

As each breath becomes a little deeper, notice where your body feels tight and sore. As you exhale, feel the tightness and discomfort start to release