Recovering after surgery

This article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please talk to your doctor to learn the specifics of your procedure and recovery requirements. Follow all instructions from your health care team.

Immediate recovery: You may be in the hospital for a few days before you return home. Nurses will monitor your condition closely to ensure your safety and comfort during this important healing period. They will also help you with various breathing and movement exercises to encourage your body’s healing and help prevent complications. You may experience a number of side effects during this time, such as nausea, fatigue, pain, digestive issues, and emotional distress. You will need to report any negative symptoms to your nurses.

Recovery exercises: Moving your body with walking and other exercises can help your body heal faster. It is helpful to practice your exercises around every hour, or as directed by your doctor, to maintain healthy blood flow. Your nurses will help you with activities like sitting up in bed, walking, breathing, and leg strength exercises. Your breathing exercises are to help clear your throat and lungs, and your leg strengthening exercises are to help improve your circulation and muscle abilities.

Controlling your pain: It is common to feel pain after surgery, and managing your level of pain is an important part of the recovery process. The more comfortable you feel, the more quickly and easily you can engage in your recovery activities. Your health care team is there to help you get through all aspects of your recovery, including any pain you may experience. Don’t hesitate to tell your health care team if you are feeling pain. Describing the level of pain (on a 0-10 scale) and type of pain (shooting, burning) can help your health care team act appropriately. Don’t wait until the pain is unbearable before reaching out to your health care team for help.