Schedule After Surgery Care
If you’re having surgery away from home, you may consider booking a recovery house, a hotel or renting an airbnb and hiring a private nurse.
- A recovery house provides around the clock care after surgery. They typically include transportation and meals.
- Prior to booking, check with your recovery house on what supplies and amenities they offer. This way you can save money on supplies you don’t need.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH: Most recovery homes are not staffed with licensed nurses and provide care to many patients at one time.
Often times, people save only enough for their procedure and forget about their post op expenses. Your choice of caregiver will make all the difference once you leave the recovery room. Hire a professional who provides you with undivided attention, knowledgeable about the healing process, able to assess for signs of post-op complications and is quick to respond in the event of an emergency.
How Should I Prepare?
- The less you must concern yourself with after surgery the happier you will be. That means when preparing for the big day, choose low maintenance hair styles. Either bun it, braid it or wrap it.
- Remove acrylic or gel nail polish. While you’re in surgery a pulse ox is placed on your finger which measures your oxygen level. The thickness of acrylic or gel nails can often interfere with that measurement.
- The night before surgery, shower with antibacterial soap first then with Hibiclens. Repeat in the morning of surgery as well. This is used as a prep for skin disinfection.
- Patients undergoing surgery should not shave the related area before their operation because razors can cause little microscopic cuts in the skin and increase the risk of infection. If you need to shave, do it at least a week prior to your surgery date.
Arrange Post Op Care (Lymphatic Massages)
Establish a post op care provider in your area BEFORE SURGERY. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is recommended after surgery to drain excess fluid, promote healing and decrease pain. Consistent lymphatic massages reduce the risk of developing seromas and fibrosis (a permanent hardening of the tissue).
- After surgery, your doctor will tell you when you can begin massages. There are no set number of massages as everyone heals at different rates.
- However, it is suggested to get 1 massage per day for the first 7-10 days. After this, depending on how you’re healing, you may need a massage 2-3 times per week.
- Over time, you will notice that the need for massages will diminish & aren’t needed as frequently.
Post op care includes not only getting massages but also wearing a properly fitted compression garment, also known as a “Faja.” This is crucial! If I don’t stress anything else, you must wear your garment!
Most recovery homes provide supplies. Therefore, you may not need to pack everything that is listed. Check with your recovery home first to see what they offer.
- Money (Cash/Credit Cards)
- Portable safe
- Maxi Dresses
- Cami: Worn underneath your faja. (White/seamless/cotton is preferred)
- Compression Stockings
- Easy on shoes: Your feet may swell so bring shoes that are comfortable.
- Overnight Bag
- Cell Phone
- Phone Charger
- Mini Extension Cord
- Head Phones
- Recovery Box
- Derriere Pillow
- Incentive Spirometer
Every surgeon gives a specific set of pre-op orders. Be sure to follow all doctor’s instructions. Listed are general rules:
- The day before your scheduled surgery. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. This includes water.
- You may brush your teeth but do not swallow the water.
- No chewing gum on surgery day. It increases stomach acid production.
- Do not use moisturizers, deodorant, perfume, creams, lotions, or makeup.
- Remove nail polish and all jewelry (including piercings).
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and flat shoes.
- Remove contact lenses and dentures before surgery.
- If you’re on prescribed medications, some should be taken the day of surgery and others should not. It is important to discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure.
- Write down any last-minute questions you may have for your doctor.
- Most importantly stay away from negativity.
The idea of being sedated for surgery can be nerve wracking. Before you undergo general anesthesia, your anesthesia care provider will examine you & ask questions about your health history.
- It is extremely important to answer all questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible. Things that may seem harmless could affect how you react to the anesthesia.
- The anesthesia care team monitors you continuously while your asleep. When the surgery is complete, the medications are stopped, and you slowly wake either in the operating room or the recovery room. You’ll probably feel groggy and a little confused when you first wake.