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Postoperative care is what should be observed after any surgery. While different types of surgeries call for different procedures, it often includes pain management and wound care. This begins immediately after surgery. Post- op spans the duration of ones stay at the hospital and may continue post discharge. The health specialist ideally informs the patient of the precautions and steps that need to be taken with regard to one’s unique situation. Before you have surgery, ask your doctor what the postoperative care will involve. This will give you time to prepared beforehand.

While many hospitals provide written discharge instructions, it’s always wise to be informed pre and post-surgery regarding the way forward.
Here are some standard questions to help you out:
● How long will I be expected to remain in the hospital?
● Will I need any special supplies or medications when I go home?
● Will I need a caregiver or physical therapist when I go home?
● What side effects can I expect?
● What complications should I watch out for?
● What things should I do or avoid to support my recovery?
● When can I resume normal activity?

This exchange will inform you of all the preparations you need to do ahead of time in addition to arranging for a caregiver. This will also prepare you for any complications that may arise and help you prevent them.
Surgeries often expose patients to the risk of infection, bleeding at the surgical site, and blood clots caused by inactivity. Try to stay in the loop about all the changes that are happening in your body as a result of surgery, including what to expect and what to report.

Postoperative care in the hospital
Post Surgery, you’ll find yourself in the recovery room. If you’ve had a general surgery, you will have been placed under general Anesthesia. It can cause an allergic reaction in some people but that is uncommon. Waking up feeling groggy, or even nauseated is normal. Your vitals will be periodically monitored and you will be closely observed for development of any allergic reaction. In addition to this, lung function through breathing will be checked. This will be done till you’re stable, post which you’ll be moved to a hospital room.

Outpatient surgery
Outpatient surgery is commonly known as same-day surgery. Unless you show signs of postoperative problems, you’ll be discharged on the same day as your procedure. You won’t need to stay overnight. However before you’re granted discharge you’ll have to demonstrate ability to breathe, drink, and urinate normally. Because of the anesthesia, you will not be allowed to drive immediately. Therefore, do make sure you take care of your transport beforehand.

Inpatient surgery
In cases where a continued post operative care is required, you’ll need to stay in the hospital overnight or longer. In some cases, patients of outpatient surgery are retained for longer if they show any complications or the doctors feel you must be kept under observation.

After being moved out of the recovery room, you are likely to have an intravenous (IV) catheter in your arm, a finger device that measures oxygen levels in your blood, and a dressing on your surgical site. Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may also have a breathing apparatus, a heartbeat monitor, and a tube in your mouth, nose, or bladder.
Your vitals will still be checked including your response to the administered medicines. You will receive pain relievers in addition to these medicines through your IV, by injection, or orally. You may be asked to get up and walk around, with or without assistance. This helps with curbing blood clots and strengthening the muscles. To prevent respiratory complications you’ll be made to breathe heavily or forcefully cough. The time and date of discharge will be finalised by the doctor.

Postoperative care at home
It’s imperative to follow the doctor’s instructions after leaving the hospital. Take the prescribed medications, watch out for potential complications, and keep your follow-up appointments.

Follow rest instructions carefully. Avoid exerting yourself, on the other hand, don’t neglect physical activity. Resume your routine work as advised. It’s best to however, do it gradually.

In some cases, you’ll have an assigned caregiver to tend to your wounds, prepare food, keep you clean, and support you while you move around. If you don’t have a family member or friend who can help, caregiving services are easily available.

Keep in mind that you can always contact your doctor if you develop a fever, increased pain, or bleeding at the surgical site.

Bottomline
Appropriate follow-up care can help reduce your risk of complications after surgery and support your recovery process. With a little planning and proactive care, you can help make your recovery as smooth as possible.

Contrary to what a fast paced lifestyle has led us to believe, a good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury only few can afford. Here are some simple tips for a better sleep.
There are multiple factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep— from family matters, work responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as illnesses and other stressors, quality sleep is sometimes elusive.
While factors that interfere with your sleep can’t always be controlled, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple tips.

1. Follow a Night Routine

A sleep schedule goes a long way. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people don’t need more than eight hours in bed to achieve this goal. So, set aside eight hours in a day to sleep.
If you find difficulty in sleeping, and are unable to do so in the first twenty minutes, leave your bed and indulge in doing something relaxing, till you’re tired. In a more regular scope, you must try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

2. Monitor your intake of food

Eating late keeps the digestive system busy and interferes with one’s sleep. Make sure you’re adequately hydrated before you call it a day. In addition, avoid having big meals right before bedtime. Feeling stuffed/ discomforted would only make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol should be paid attention to, too. The mental stimulation from nicotine and caffeine takes hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt your sleep cycle later at night.

3. Create a Corner

The space that you sleep in should be made ideal for sleeping. A perfect space would be cool, dark and quiet. Light Exposure usually makes it more challenging to fall asleep. As an extension to keeping the room dark it would be a huge plus to make it a screen free space. Light emitting screens keep you mentally active for a longer time therefore delaying much needed rest.
Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.

4. Take daytime naps only as required

Understand your body clock. Cater to its needs once you learn to pick up on the signals your body gives out. Once on a schedule, daytime naps are only required to recharge and make you feel refreshed. Longer naps, however, make you feel lethargic and can interfere with nighttime sleep.
If you work nights, however, you might need to nap late in the day before work, to help make up your sleep debt.

5. Exercise

Routine physical activity is much needed in all aspects of life. It greatly helps with securing a good night’s sleep. Morning walks or an evening stroll goes a long way in helping you sleep.
Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too.

6. Stress Management

Write down what’s on your mind and remember to attend to it the next morning. Having a more organized outlook with regards to tackling worries is instrumental in keeping the mind at ease.
Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities, and delegating tasks. Meditation can also ease anxiety.

7. Seek Help When Required.

Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the sleep you deserve.