Tips for a Great Post-Op Recovery

Congrats! You made it through your surgery, and are on your way to a quick and healthy recovery. Sometimes navigating all the advice can be overwhelming, so we’ll stick to the top tips to get you back to 100% in no time.

Trust Your Doc

There’s a reason he or she went to school for a million years before being able to diagnose you, advise you, cut you open, and prescribe you medicine. You do not know better than your doctor (and neither does the internet). Say it with me, “I DO NOT KNOW BETTER THAN MY DOCTOR.” Follow the care instructions given to you by your surgeon and doctor as closely as you possibly can, first and foremost.

Stay Sunny

More and more, we are seeing research that explores the true power of positivity when it comes to mind and body health. Basically, by being genuinely positive, you are looking forward to a happy and healthy future, and therefore telling your body that you trust that it’s capable of healing and thriving again soon. Meanwhile, a negative mindset dwells on what-ifs, and tells your body that you don’t truly believe it’s capable of healing you. Another way to think about negativity is to think about it simply as stress, and we’ve all heard how terrible stress can be on our bodies. Your body needs your trust, your confidence, and your positivity. Smile, have patience, and be gentle with yourself.

Eat Mindfully

There are certain food groups that will specifically help your body recover from a procedure. Make sure to eat plenty of lean proteins to keep your collagen production in full swing (you need collagen to bond tissues back together). Other foods to build into your post-op diet include: fiber, citrus, deeply-colored fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, and fermented dairy. Think fruit and yogurt parfaits for breakfast, and chicken and veggie stir fry for dinner. Make it easy to get the nutrients you need by having healthy meals delivered straight to your home. Don’t forget to treat yourself to the occasional grilled cheese or scoop of ice cream! You deserve it, after all.

Eat Mindfully

Be Proactive

The more you are able to plan ahead, the smoother your recovery will be. You will feel calmer and more in control, and as a result, your brain will send signals to your body to let it know it’s safe and can relax and repair itself without issue.

Ask your doctor about the stages of the recovery process, and any potential side effects of your medications. Then, make sure you are equipped with the tools to handle every stage or side effect when they appear. The specifics will depend on the type of surgery you had. For example, if you had cosmetic injections or facial surgery, you might consider picking up some Arnica cream to help reduce bruising and soothe the surgical sites.

Bank Your Binging

As soon as you schedule your surgery, start saving unwatched episodes to enjoy post-op. Try to refrain from watching your shows weekly as usual—and let your Netflix list stack up. You’ll thank yourself later, I swear. Wait until after surgery to binge all of your favorite shows, and in the meantime, do your homework pre-surgery.

You Have Permission to Recover

Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is dealing with the psychological side of it. If you need permission to sit in bed in pajamas and watch TV until your body is healed, this is it. If you’re feeling lonely or going stir crazy, have your friends and family come to you instead of going out without you. So often it can be uncomfortable to put ourselves first, but when recovering from surgery, we must. Don’t worry about seeming selfish or needy; the people that love you want to see you recover more than anything, and they will be happy to walk beside you during the process.

You Have Permission to Recover

Eat right, sleep well, and follow your doctor’s orders! You’ll be back to your normal life before you know it. Going through surgery is a tough battle, both mentally and physically, and you will come out stronger than ever. Try to look forward to the personal growth, strength, and determination you will feel after you are healed. No tips or advice on the planet will measure up to the confidence you gain from genuine self-love and listening to your body.