3 Reasons Why a Support System is Critical After Surgery

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One of the main benefits of an outpatient surgery is how quickly you can go home! However, it’s important to remember that every surgery requires some recovery time – whether it’s a joint replacement with an overnight stay or a carpal tunnel repair that allows you to go home within hours of your procedure.

Here are three reasons why a support system is so important during your recovery – no matter what surgery you’ve had.

Reason 1. You can’t drive within the first 24 hours after your surgery.

When you are discharged from the surgery center, you are technically awake, but the anesthesia can actually remain in your system for up to 24 hours after your surgery. During these 24 hours, the anesthesia can cause you to feel dizzy, drowsy, lightheaded, or nauseous. Plus, you will most likely be taking a pain medication that can also make you experience these symptoms.

For these two reasons, you are prohibited from driving for 24 hours and must have someone from your support system take you home after surgery. This person can also be a second set of ears to hear your discharge instructions and help you remember them once you are back home.

Reason 2. You’ll probably have some physical restrictions.

For a larger surgery, like a total joint replacement or ACL repair, your post-surgical restrictions could limit your ability to do major daily activities like walk, drive, lift, or bend.  In these cases, your support system will be instrumental in helping you with daily activities like getting around your home, cooking, and driving you to follow up appointments.

For smaller surgeries that don’t have any specific restrictions, your support system can lend a hand the first few days by making sure you are eating nutritious meals, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of rest.

Just remember, overdoing it or not following your restrictions can lead to a slower and potentially less successful recovery.

Reason 3. Surgery can be stressful.

Beyond the physical impact surgery has on your body, it can also affect you mentally and emotionally. Having a family member or friend to talk to throughout your recovery can help relieve any built up emotional stress. Your support system can also provide extra motivation if the recovery process ever seems too difficult or too long.

A full recovery is always our goal at BOSC. If you have any additional questions about the importance of a support system or what areas you may specifically need help with after your surgery, make sure to talk to your physician or one of our nurses.