Do's and Don'ts of Stomach Surgery Recovery

So - you’ve just had surgery and you’re completely and utterly bored and have no idea what to do. Well, maybe we can give you a few ideas!

infographic of the types of things you should do after stomach surgery to help with rehab and therapy

Alright. So let’s get a little more serious with some factual, useful, information on recovering from stomach surgery. We also know you’re probably not feeling the best (or won’t be in the future) so we’ll make this quick!

Here are some (serious) tips that we recommend for post surgery:

  • While at the Hospital
    • This may seem obvious, but it is highly overlooked. Make sure you plan out your ride home because you’re probably not going to walk home (let alone drive yourself). Also, schedule your next doctor appointment and get all of your prescriptions. This will make easier to plan your next ride to the hospital or doctor for your checkup. Also, ask your doctor about your physical limitations, any things that are absolutely a no-go, and how to change any bandages (if you have any).
  • While at Home
    • Getting Plenty of Rest
      • You’re going to be extremely tired, and it’s important to listen to your body and let it rest. Obviously, the best way to let your body to recover is to do absolutely nothing. What better way to do that than being unconscious?
    • Activities
      • There is an awesome list above, but check out some more ideas of post-surgery activities! These are a couple more ideas in addition to above and below this serious part.
    • Diet
      • Next, to sleep, this is priority #2. Most likely you’ll work with a dietician from the hospital on keeping your diet in check and making sure you take in lots of protein. If you have had stomach surgery, a liquid diet with lots of vitamins is in the near future. You’re also most likely to be ‘blocked up’ and getting some stool softeners is advised. Be sure to take in lots of water as well. You’re most likely going to get dehydrated and water will help the recovery process and removal of toxins in the body.
    • Speeding up the process
      • Don’t forget about being outside. Getting plenty of sunshine not only helps your mood but will help with getting some extra Vitamin D. If you are unable to get outside, try sitting in the sunlight or pushing your bed next to a window. If you don’t believe us, try it once and you’ll be hooked. We almost certainly kinda guarantee it. Maybe.
      • An abdominal binder can also help with the recovery process. These help keep everything in place and can help with decreasing the possibility of a hernia. As always, be sure to ask your doctor if this would be a good move for you.
        a post surgery compression binder can help keep injuries from occurring again
  • Side Effects of Surgery
    • Of course, there are different side effects for different types of surgery, but there are a few commonalities. Prepare yourself for the following challenges:
      • Reduction in Caloric Intake: this more of a mental challenge than a physical one. When my mother had gotten stomach surgery, she always felt full and was taking in less than the recommended daily allowance. Just remember to stick to the diet from your doctor or dietician and you should be just fine!
    • Nausea and Vomiting
      • Nausea is caused from the Medulla Oblongata which is located on the brainstem. Vomiting can be triggered by a drug reaction, motion, anxiety, and your body’s adjustment to the surgery. This is why it’s super important to lay down and rest and let your body heal as quickly as possible.
    • Changed Bowel Habits: Like we had said before, you’re most likely going to be a little ‘blocked’. Getting your hands on some stool softeners or fibers not only will help your body heal but will help you feel better entirely.
    • Excessive Flatulence: While this can be somewhat embarrassing, gas is meant to leave your body so don’t hold anything back. Fun Fact: Farts that are held in and kept from leaving are absorbed into your intestinal wall and then mixed into your blood. That should be a great excuse to let ‘em fly.
  • Once you start feeling better, here are some more ideas for keeping yourself occupied:
  1. Plan your escape from Narnia. For example, you are being chased by the White Witch and the only object to protect yourself with is a broomstick (without flying capabilities). Get creative and let us know what you come up with.
  2. First, cut out a mustache and tape it on the screen of the T.V. Next, come up with a really random phrase. Every time the mustache matches up with a face, say your random phrase in a soft, sweet whisper.
  3. Ask yourself some really challenging questions. For example: if you were back in medieval times, what would be your weapon of choice (our weapons of choice are the arms of our fallen enemies)
  4. Call up your friend, but let them know you can’t talk right now because you’re busy
  5. Buy a Superman costume to wear while you’re recovering. You’re almost guaranteed to heal faster
  6. Eat a banana.
  7. Google Zerg Rush.
  8. Plan out a vacation and all the different sorts of activities you would like to do.
  9. Read a classic novel or childhood book. Get nostalgic, dive deep back into your roots and get nostalgic.
  10. Come up with a list of things you’re going to do immediately after you have recovered.

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