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Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

New York, NY


Posted March 15, 2013 in Recovery

One of the first questions prospective patients ask regarding their surgical procedure is: How long is the recovery period? Although every procedure has an estimated healing time, there are several things you can do both before and after surgery to help maintain a smooth – and swift – recovery period.

It is important that you consume a healthy diet prior to surgery, and especially during recovery. Fish, chicken, eggs, and rice are all full of amino acids consisting of nutrients that promote the wound healing. Vitamin C and zinc boost the immune system and help fight against infection. Multivitamins with B12 and iron all promote the formation of new blood cells.

If your surgery requires anesthesia, you may wake up feeling groggy and even numb after surgery. Possible side effects of anesthesia include constipation and difficulty urinating. Generally the patient is put on a clear liquid diet to get the digestive system moving again. Once the anesthesia wears off, you may feel a pain increase. To help reduce any discomfort, as well as swelling, certain medication may be prescribed.

Prior to being discharged from the surgical facility or hospital, your surgeon or someone from personnel should provide you with full instructions on how to keep the wound clean and bandaged.

It is important that you rest after any procedure. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, your downtime will vary. Some procedures require weeks of rest and recovery, and depending on the procedure, physical therapy sessions may be necessary. Other procedures may require only a few days of downtime, in which you will be able to return to normal activities in due time. It is crucial that you follow your doctor’s orders regarding the healing process, as well as listen to your body and how it feels.

If you experience other post-surgery complications, such as fever, difficulty in breathing, uncontrollable pain, or consistent diarrhea, it is vital that you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Problems such as these can result in more serious complications, so they must be treated immediately. Dr. Taranow is available to meet with you and address your concerns.