As a patient, undergoing surgery means that you yourself need to know a few things in order to allow the wounds to heal quick and for the surgery to be successful. Unless these need to know facts are gathered properly at the time of discharge, you may end up with complications or undergo a more prolonged recovery than usual.
Even though the hospitals will make every effort to make you aware about the possible dangers and essential things that you need to follow, knowing what to ask and get clarified would certainly eliminate the possibility of excluding certain essential ‘discharge advice’.
So, what are the things that you need to know? Let us see one by one.
* Should I come for removal of sutures and when should I come?
As some sutures are self dissolving, this might not be necessary in certain instances.
* What should I do to keep the wound clean?
In certain instances, the surgeons prefer the patients to apply just a ‘dry dressing’ rather than applying antiseptic solutions over and over again. In other instances, they may want the patient to apply an ‘antiseptic soaked bandage’ over the wound. It’s also possible that the surgeons do not want the patient to apply anything to the wound at all. Therefore, knowing what exactly to do will enhance the recovery time of the wound and thus avoid complications as well.
* What exercises can I do?
Following some surgeries, the patient should avoid heavy exertions and lifting of weight for a certain period. In some conditions, a gradual introduction to normal exercises and day to day activities are mandatory soon after the surgical intervention. But, in other instances, a joint or a limb may have to be immobilized for a longer duration in order to heal better. Therefore, knowing how to proceed with the exercises is of paramount importance for quick recovery.
* What medications should I take?
It’s possible that you may have to take a heap of drugs, including antibiotics, pain relievers, anti inflammatory medications and other drugs related to underlying medical problems. You have to verify what to take and what not, as some drugs may adversely affect the wound healing, bleeding, immune reduction as well as could interact adversely with newer drugs which was given specific for the surgical recovery.
* What should my diet be?
A nutritionally balanced diet would be the ideal diet for any patient recovering from a surgery but, depending on certain procedures as well as the patients underlying medical problems, the diet may have to be changed. For example, a patient having burn injuries might be advised to take a high protein diet in order to promote tissue growth and a patient with renal disease may be advised to take a low salt diet to help keep the body functions at bay.
* When can I go to work?
This would be one of the important questions as the surgeons will be in the best position to decide when you can return back to work or your normal daily routine. As this can vary immensely due to the type of surgery as well as because of the patients’ condition, you should make sure that you obtain clarifications before discharge.
Apart from these queries, you will have thousand more in your mind. But, the best thing would be to clarify each and every query, rather than keeping it to yourself and making the wrong move at home.