How to Recover From Abdominal Surgery

Recover From Abdominal Surgery
Recover From Abdominal Surgery

How to Recover From Abdominal Surgery. The length of time it takes to recover from abdominal surgery depends on the extent and type of surgery. For instance, a laproscopic gallbladder procedure may take a few days at the most to be back to a normal routine. On the other hand, extensive colon resection for the removal of cancer or other obstruction may take weeks to begin normal activities.

Prepare to Recover From Abdominal Surgery

Tackle one day at a time. Don't expect to be back to normal as soon as you're home from the hospital. Whether you have surgery as an outpatient or inpatient, any surgical procedure will have some activity restrictions.

Utilize the assistance of family, friends and neighbors while you recover. You may need someone to prepare your meals or pick up prescriptions. If you have no one who can help, ask about volunteers in your community. The hospital social worker may be able to help locate someone in your area.

Plan activities for your recovery time that are interesting but don't require any lifting or bending. Place books, word games and puzzles in accessible locations for when you return home. Put your favorite DVDs on a shelf that is easy to reach without bending over.

Delegate any heavy housecleaning chores such as vacuuming to someone else. Get your laundry done prior to going to the hospital, as heavy lifting will be out of the question. Your doctor will tell you when it is safe for you to stress the abdomen.

Exercise according to your doctor's instructions. Depending on the reason for the surgery, you may be limited for several from any type of exertion. Other procedures may allow light exercise more quickly.

Keep pillows close at hand for positioning during sleep and for comfort while sitting. It may also be necessary to have a pillow for protection over the abdomen when sitting, especially if small children or pets live in the home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Regardless of the type of abdominal surgery, your doctor will likely give you instructions to get up and move around. This helps with getting the bowels working again and encouraging blood flow for healing.
  • Taking your pain medication as prescribed will facilitate the healing process. You can move around easier if you're not in pain.
  • Children with abdominal surgery require close monitoring to prevent injury to the surgical site. Watch closely for signs requiring immediate attention as directed by the pediatric surgeon.

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