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What is a good plan for recovery after surgery?

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Quick Answer

Following the doctor's instructions, attending follow-up appointments, keeping an eye on the incision so that it does not develop an infection, and maintaining proper exercise and diet all comprise a good plan for recovery after surgery. Ignoring warning signs instead of seeking medical attention often has dire results, notes About.com.

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Full Answer

While doctors generally provide a thorough list of instructions for patients to follow after surgery, many patients only follow some of the instructions, which can lead to complications that are avoidable. Other patients also see follow-up appointments as an unnecessary expense and waste of time if they feel good after the surgery; however, each instruction is there for a reason, and the appointments are designed to check for issues that may be invisible to the naked eye, as stated by About.com.

Keeping an eye on the surgical incision is important. If it turns red and puffy and drains a cloudy pus, infection may be present. Internal infections can cause severe complications. Washing the hands before touching the incision goes a long way toward fighting infection. Unless the doctor indicates it is necessary, though, there is no reason to wash the incision with anything more than soap and water, according to About.com.

Managing pain adequately is important for surgical recovery. While it may be impossible to be pain free, taking medications to keep pain tolerable is important. Hydration and regular exercise, even if that just consists of walking, also contribute to successful recovery, states About.com.

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