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How important is recovery after a surgery?

#premed #surgery #surgery #career #college

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Suzanne’s Answer

Hi Henry,

I am an oncology nurse and I have been a surgical patient too, so I can answer this question from either perspective. However, I think personal experience is a powerful means to articulate the best answer.

I had a brain tumor that affected the cranial nerve responsible for balance and it completely made me deaf in one ear. So rehab was essential for my ability to walk, navigate the hearing world, and regain strength. The exercises entailed balance and strength training. No rehab was offered for the hearing loss, but through researching I learned the best way to deal with unilateral hearing loss.

As a nurse, I can tell you without any doubt that good rehab will result in better physical outcomes. Muscles, tendons, fascia are all damaged during surgery and must be carefully trained back into the best shape possible. For example, I dealt with breast cancer patients who had mastectomies. This surgery can entail the removal of lymph nodes and muscle. The patients would go into rehab to stretch and strengthen the shoulder and relax chest wall muscles to prevent the muscles/joint from freezing in place.

For many surgeries, the physicians will have the patients up and out of bed as quickly as possible and into rehab soon after. The reason for getting out of bed is to encourage the lungs to work properly, prevent pulmonary infections, prevent blood clots, and encourage full body strength and mobility.

It's sometimes hard to get patients up, get them moving, and get them into rehab. Surgery hurts. Sometimes a lot. The human instinct is to prevent movement if in pain. So having a great rehab team is essential for the surgeon to see the best surgical outcomes.

I hope this is useful!
Sue
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Valerie’s Answer

Hi Henry,
Recovery after surgery is SUPER important. After seeing patients have a double knee replacement, they need to have lots of rest, ice , and medications to relieve the pain and swelling. It is also extremely important to get these patients moving as soon as they are able to though, because we don't want their muscles to atrophy (shrink) or their joints to become stiff. The earlier the patient is able to begin to move, the better the surgery outcome will be. For brain surgery, there is not much recovery other than rest and medications. The patient needs to stop exercising and moving after a major surgery like brain or cardiac for a while. But for muscle, tendons, joints or anything orthopedic, most of the time you want the patient to get back to normal quickly after an adequate rest.
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Estelle’s Answer

Recovery after surgery is of the utmost importance. The surgeon will give specific instructions and limitations as well as problem signs to watch out for. This ensures the best possible outcome for a surgical procedure.
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Richard’s Answer

It's best if patients follow doctors' advice. Definitely rest if that is recommended. Get back to activity including any prescribed rehab as soon as you can. Too much bed rest can lead to complications too (loss of muscle and bone mass and even blood clots).
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Jamie’s Answer

I have experience with two ankle surgeries and recovery is VERY important. I was unable to walk after my surgery for 12 weeks. Follow your doctors orders... stay up on your medication and be sure to do your physical therapy if required. you will end up having multiple surgeries if you do not follow orders.
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