Surgery – what you need to ask your doctor but were afraid to ask.

What can you do to improve the recovery process?  Here are some of the things they are unlikely to mention:

  1. Get yourself in the best physical condition that you can.  Surgery is hard on the body.  Review your current diet and exercise.  Do whatever exercise you can to improve your general health and both upper and lower body strength.  (Think of using wheel chair, crutches, walker, or cane when you arms are not strong enough to support you or to use these devices.  Then, exercise the area of the surgery.  You want to increase the blood flow to that area which will aid in healing.
  2. Ask to be put in touch with the physical therapists to determine the regimen they will put you on post surgery.  Ask for copies of the exercises for that particular surgery and start doing the exercises pre-surgery.  Learning the exercises after the surgery is often difficult.  You won’t want to be learning how to exercise while you are injured and in pain.  This is particularly important if you are elderly or a non-exercise person.
  3. What adjustments could or should be made in your home environment to facilitate recovery?
  4. Will there be a home nurse prescribed?
  5. Review all you medications before and after surgery for interactions and side effects.  WebMd.com is a reputable site.
  6. Evaluate whether those who are going to help you are up to the task physically.  Will your 5 foot hundred pound wife be able to assist you a 6’6” 210 pound husband?
  7. Discuss the emotional effects from surgery, anesthetics and physical therapy.

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