How Can I Speed Up My Recovery Process?
The recovery period after any surgical procedure can be daunting, especially beforehand when you have no idea what to expect. Every person handles surgery differently: some bounce back within days while others take weeks, and unfortunately, there is no way to guess which category you will fall into. Regardless of how quickly your body heals, there are ways to help speed your recovery along while ensuring that you are not pushing yourself harder than you should. Fortunately, in our hands healthy patients following our guidelines overall do great.
1. Get Plenty of Rest
Relaxation is the best thing you can do for yourself after surgery. Whether you had a tummy tuck, a breast augmentation, or liposuction, your body needs to heal, and this takes time. The more you rest in a comfortable and stress-free setting, the more you allow your body to heal the way it is supposed to. Resting feels odd to many people, especially when their normal day-to-day lives are so hectic. However, as strange as it may feel, it is what you need. You shouldn’t feel bad about taking naps in the middle of the day or spending hours binge-watching that television show all your friends have been talking about. Relaxing is what will get you to the finish line faster.
2. Choose A Nutritious Diet
A nutritious diet before and after surgery is great for your whole body. Food plays a significant role in your recovery because the vitamins and nutrients you consume will help reduce inflammation and speed up cell regeneration. During the initial stages of your recovery, focus on foods that are healthy and nutritious. Dr. Alexander recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. Protein helps your body recover at a quicker rate, so getting enough should be high on your list of priorities. Also, choose foods that are high in vitamins A and C, as well as zinc. These will help promote healing. In the weeks and months following your surgery, try to get the majority of your vitamins from their natural source rather than pills and supplements, if possible. Plant-based nutrition will actually benefit your overall health long term as well.
3. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is common after surgery. When you are sore and tired, drinking a full 64 ounces of water may be challenging, but having water easily accessible throughout the day is a necessity. Dehydration is never good for your body, but its adverse effects are increased tenfold when you are in recovery. Not only will it slow down the healing process, but lacking water will put you at an increased risk for further complications. Water and juices are great ways to ensure hydration. You will know if your body is well hydrated when you find that you urinate frequently and the color is light, not dark.
4. Get On Your Feet
Although getting on your feet after surgery may sound like a contradiction (because rest is so important), it is something that you need to do. Doctors recommend getting up on your feet to stretch your legs and walk as much as is comfortable during your recovery. These walks should not be strenuous, but instead leisurely walks around your home. No exercise or treadmill walking, though. Blood clots are one of the most significant risks after any surgery, and moving around will help to keep that risk at bay by keeping your circulation going.
5. Take Your Time
Recovery is different for each patient. No one will be able to tell you what to expect during each stage. Instead, listen to what your body says. You will know when it is right to get back into the swing of things. Pushing yourself too hard will only prolong the healing process.