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- The specific of surgical procedure you have.
- Whether or not the surgery works successfully, because there is always the chance for complications.
- Your overall health.
- Certain medical condition that you may have.
- Even something as simple as your age may also have an effect.
Surgical wound site, where surgeon made the cut into your skin, usually will heal fairly quickly. But the same doesn’t go for the deeper tissues that make up your abdominal wall. They usually will take a little bit longer to recover.
With all of these factors, the length of time you will need to get a complete recovery is not easy to predict. For more information about your recovery time, talk with someone (your doctor or surgeon) who has the best idea of how long it will take!
How about the enhanced recovery program?
As the name suggests, it’s designed to help you full health more quickly and go home sooner than conventionally expected.
It’s usually suggested before you take the operation, since it requires comprehensive steps and efforts before and after surgery. For examples, patients may need to follow the following steps before the operation so they will recover more quickly:
- Eating right with balanced diet to make sure they get plenty of essential nutrients for repair.
- Some doctors believe that patients with physically active before their surgery are more likely to recover quicker.
- Try to not worry about the surgery! If necessary, certain relaxation therapies before the operation may be suggested.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking, both before and after surgery! Alcohol and smoking may inhibit the recovery and increase the risk of complications.
Where possible, your surgeon may recommend specific techniques that will provide a faster recovery – such as using regional /local anesthesia and keyhole procedure (minimally invasive surgery). After surgery, other approaches such as rehabilitation services (including physiotherapy) are usually recommended.
If you do believe that you will have benefits from the enhanced recovery program, ask your doctor /surgeon whether you can take it at the hospital you’re going to!
Pain is the common discomfort after surgery, which is usually dependent on the degree of invasiveness. Painkilling medication is usually prescribed to help soothe your pain.
It’s also important to pay attention on some possible complications after surgery, such as:
- Complications may occur soon after the operation (when you are still in hospital) such as recurrence of bleeding, wound infections, or anastomotic leaks.
- Dumping syndrome, a condition of when foods move from the stomach to the guts in abnormally, uncontrolled fast manner. The symptoms include abdominal discomforts such as cramps, nausea and vomiting. Sometimes it may also cause dizziness and rapid heart rate. Fortunately, it often responds to lifestyle measures such as eating smaller meals, chewing well, and avoiding fluid with meal!
- Diarrhea, passing loose-watery stools.
- Malabsorption (deficiencies of folate, minerals (iron), or vitamin B12). It may occur due to poor dietary intake, decreased acid secretion, and decreased intrinsic factor.
- Blood clot, though it is more common in orthopedic procedures. Symptoms include swelling, discolored skin, and veins that appear larger than normal in the affected leg.
Once you’re ready to go home, ask anything else you need to follow! For example, there may be specific instructions about any physical movements to avoid or exercises you need to carry out (ask your physiotherapist for more advice).
You usually will also be given comprehensive information about how to take an appropriate dose of your painkilling medication at home, how to care for your surgical wound, and certain equipment you may need (such as bandages, splints, and crutches).