Factors influencing a patient's recovery time include the doctor's assessment of physical status and evaluation of risk factors, according to Virginia Mason Medical Center. The doctor's assessment includes how the patient responds physically to the surgery, how the body heals, and if there are any other physical ailments or factors affecting recovery time. Risk factors evaluated include the patient's attitude, motivation, coping strategies and presence of mental issues, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
To help speed surgical recovery time, patients should stay physically active, maintain a normal routine, and follow up regularly with a doctor, the University of Chicago Medicine suggests. Recommendations also include not lifting heavy objects and not driving a vehicle until receiving permission from a doctor. The organization recommends patients slowly increase their activity levels, such as exercising and working. Patients are encouraged to do as much as possible but to stop and rest when fatigued.
Eating healthy and stopping bad habits such as smoking improve surgical recovery times, notes the University of Chicago Medicine. Despite potentially having a smaller appetite after surgery, patients are recommended to get in three small meals per day or several small, healthy snacks to maintain physical strength and health. Patients are strongly discouraged from drinking alcohol or smoking during surgical recovery to avoid health complications and potentially extending recovery time.