Your doctor should go over the specifics of postoperative recovery, but there are things you can do to make the healing process more enjoyable.
Plan your meals
You’ll be avoiding any heavy lifting and strenuous activity, so prepare your meals for the days immediately after the surgery. Whether you’re ordering out or defrosting pre-made meals, it’s best to avoid cooking so you can focus on relaxing. Pick your favourite, nutritious meals and make them ahead of time. It may even help to portion them into serving sizes so they’re easily warmed. In addition, it’s important to eat plenty of fibre. Rice and bananas tend to bind the contents of your bowels, leading to constipation.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
It’s important for healing to drink lots of liquids. Water is important, but you can also supplement your diet with juices. Grape juice, prune juice, and canned peaches promote healthy bowel movements. Rinse out your favourite mug or water bottle to encourage yourself to drink lots of water. Avoid tea and alcohol during this time, even if you consume them regularly. Also, don’t forget some colourful straws to go along with your favourite juices.
Think cool thoughts
Buy two sets of ice packs that are comfortable on your skin. It may even be a good idea to shop for ice pack covers made of soft material, like flannel. You’ll be keeping the ice pack on rotation. The rule is 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. The ice packs will help with the swelling and some of the pain as well.
Clothes that zip on and off or have buttons to close should be brought with you to the clinic. Immediately after surgery, you won’t want to worry about pulling shirts over your head while worrying about the bandages. Before you head into surgery, consider doing your laundry or buying comfortable clothes that are easy to slip into and out of.
In the same vein, it’s a good idea to clean your home before heading into surgery. You won’t get a chance to clean for some time after surgery, so do any of the dishes or sweeping ahead of time.
Stock up on pillows
For the first few nights, you’ll be sleeping in a semi-elevated position to help with swelling. You’ll need loads of pillows to keep the angle up.