Surgery is a traumatic experience for anyone. It involves cutting and often removing parts of the body under local or general anesthesia that will numb the body to what is occurring. When the person is recovering the body tries to both understand what has occurred and to heal itself from the conditions caused by the surgery. This is physical side. There is also a mental side attached to surgery.
The fear, stress and anxiety are real issues that must be considered when the conversation is healing from surgery. For some operations like breast reconstruction surgery, there is the added emotional toll for a woman. This surgery is usually done as a response to a cancer diagnosis and is performed either during or after a partial or full mastectomy where some or all of the breast or breasts and the surrounding tissue is removed. In addition to it being major surgery and very traumatic for the body, is the mental and emotional aspects relating to fear of dying from the cancer and loss of femininity because of the breast removal.
As a result recovering from breast reduction surgery can be difficult for any woman. But it is critical for every woman to give herself the best chance to heal as quickly and fully as possible and to avoid any post-surgery complications. With this in mind, here is a list a few things that every woman recovering from breast reconstruction surgery can do to aid the healing process.
Never Deviate From Your Doctor‘s Orders
The surgeon will provide you with a detailed post-surgery recovery plan. It will include the medications that you need to take, the amount of physical activity you will be limited to, your diet, and what you can expect to feel physically and mentally. You should follow everything that is told to you to the letter. In the event that you experienced anything outside of what the doctor expects, you should call him immediately. Remember that healing takes time and when you are on high-level pain medications, it can give you an inaccurate sense of how you feel, and where you are in your healing process. Therefore do not trust your instincts, instead trust the doctor’s.
Expect to feel different in the days following your surgery
Surgery is a traumatic event that will call into question who you are, and what life is all about. When you combine this with the medication you will be on, you can expect that you will feel unlike yourself. You can also expect to go through a range of emotions, being happy to be alive one day, angry at the world the next, and being brought to tears of sadness the very next day. Know that all of these feelings are normal, and that each will pass until you feel like yourself again. You may also feel nauseous and of course there will be flashes of pain in spite of the pain medication. This is normal unless any pain or feelings of extreme nausea last for long periods. In this case you should call your doctor immediately.
Take your pain medication.
Many people do not like to take pain medication and with good reason. It makes you feel either nauseous or disconnected from your body or both. It causes you to sleep long periods and will likely prohibit you from thinking clearly no matter how hard you try. In addition to this, pain medications have a bad reputation for causing addictions. For these reasons, no one should love the pain medications they receive after surgery. However these medications allow your body to relax and heal. Therefore they are a necessary evil. So take your pain medication as long as the doctor prescribes them, and know that they are a key part of you getting back to normal.
Eat healthy food
When you are healing your body needs a full set of nutrients. This requires that you eat a balanced diet when you are healing. There will be the temptation to order Mcdonald’s or KFC as a reward for having lived through your surgery. Although one meal of fast food will not cause any negative effects, if you make a habit of it, it will prolong your healing and not provide the vital nutrients your body needs to help it heal as quickly as possible. So fight the urge and make it a lifestyle change to eat a balanced meal with proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, even if its just for a few weeks.
Setbacks are part of the healing process
Everyone that has surgery has setbacks. They may happen at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the healing process, or they may happen throughout the healing process. Everyone is different, and every surgery is different. The thing to keep in mind is that if you do the things mentioned above, you will heal. So give yourself the time that’s needed in order to get healthy again, and treat any setbacks as part of the healing process.
Keep in touch with your doctor and never miss any post-surgery appointments. Keep your family and friends close because they will give you encouragement and love, and before you know it, you and your life will be back to normal.