What To Do After Surgery: Post-Op Care Tips

  • Get plenty of rest in the first 24 hours after surgery and follow any instructions from your doctor. 
  • Use special equipment such as walkers or crutches if needed, and take things slow when adjusting to them.
  • Practice good hygiene habits such as showering regularly and changing bandages to prevent infection. 
  • Eat healthy meals with lean protein sources and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. 
  • Monitor potential symptoms, keep up with follow-up appointments, and look after your mental health during this time.

A formidable 310 million major surgeries are conducted worldwide annually, with approximately 40 to 50 million of those taking place in the United States and 20 million in Europe. Unfortunately, it is thought that up to one to four percent of these patients won’t survive. In comparison, 15 percent will suffer from serious postoperative morbidity, and another 5 to 15 percent may be readmitted within a month.

Going through surgery can be a challenging experience. But it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself afterward is essential for a successful recovery. Knowing the basics of post-op care can help you better understand what you need to do and how best to take care of yourself during this time. Here are some tips on how to take care of yourself after surgery.

The First 24 Hours After Surgery

In the first 24 hours after your surgery, getting plenty of rest is essential. You may feel pain or discomfort during this time, so ask your doctor about appropriate medications or other treatments to help alleviate any symptoms. It’s also important to drink lots of fluids—especially water—to stay hydrated and aid in healing and recovery. Additionally, follow those instructions closely if your doctor has prescribed physical therapy exercises.

Young woman holding crutches while sitting on a couch.

Special Equipment

You may also need to use special equipment during the first 24 hours after your surgery, such as a walker or crutches. Make sure you follow any instructions given by your doctor when using this equipment. As you adjust to these new devices and routines, it’s important to stay active but take things slow, as overexerting yourself can be dangerous.

Communicate with the Doctor

Finally, make sure to communicate with your doctor regularly during the first 24 hours after surgery. Ask any questions you may have and follow all instructions given to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

The Next Few Days After the Surgery

During the next few days following your surgery, continue taking all prescribed medications as instructed by your doctor. Additionally, try to move around as much as possible while still resting regularly. Walking is especially beneficial as it helps promote blood circulation and reduce swelling in the affected area.

Good Hygiene Habits

Practicing good hygiene habits, such as showering regularly and changing bandages when necessary to prevent infection, is also essential. You should use reliable medical-grade adhesive for the skin to ensure the dressings do not fall off easily. These adhesives are designed to promote health while allowing the skin to breathe. They also help you stay comfortable as you recover from your surgery.

Heart-shaped basket filled with fruits and vegetables with a stethoscope on it.


Don’t forget about nutrition either—be sure to eat healthy meals with lean protein sources like fish or chicken for maximum energy and healing potential. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and flush out toxins that can accumulate in your body following surgery.

Long-Term Post-Op Care Tips

It would help if you kept certain long-term post-op care tips in mind to ensure proper healing and recovery. Firstly, avoid overexerting yourself. While you must stay active by doing light exercises such as walking or yoga (if your doctor approves), don’t push yourself too hard too soon!

Monitor Potential Symptoms

Secondly, pay attention to any signs that something isn’t right. If you start experiencing any unusual symptoms, contact your doctor immediately just in case something else needs addressing. Finally, make sure you keep up with all follow-up appointments; these will help ensure that everything is progressing properly and that there are no underlying issues that need addressing. With these tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy a successful recovery!

Be Mindful of Mental Health

In addition to the above tips, ensuring that you look after your mental health during this time is crucial. Make sure to set aside time to relax and unwind; take some deep breaths and focus on positive thoughts. If you feel overwhelmed, try talking to a loved one or even a therapist. It’s also important to remember that recovery takes time, so don’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to your progress.

Taking proper post-op care is essential for a successful recovery after surgery. Following these tips can help you ensure that everything goes smoothly throughout the process—from getting plenty of rest in the first 24 hours after surgery to keeping up with long-term follow-up appointments! Remember that it’s always best to consult a medical professional before starting any post-op regimen. You must speak with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about what steps you should take next!

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