post op instructions

There are 2 important factors to consider in the post operative period

i) Pain       Pain will occur after any operation. Everyone’s pain threshold varies. It is the same when  visiting the dentist.  Some people can have their teeth filled without an anesthetic injection (I can’t ) Some people need 5 ampoules of injection, not one or two-which is what most people need

What is important is that you take your medication regularly after surgery. No only is pain medication more effective when taken regularly-but pain pushes up blood pressure and makes the pulse race.  These latter two factors increase the chance of post operative bleeding-which causes all sorts of problems. A “big” bleed may require another operation. It also increases the risk of wound infection and wound breakdown, and may also lead to an impairment of the cosmetic result

ii) Activity      It is a good general principle to rest and take things easy after an operation.  An operation places increased metabolic demands on the body and rest helps the body to recover. It is not quite so simple. Also, restricting ones activity also diminishes the chance of a bleed.  ie do NOT do things which make your heart race ( ie faster pulse and increasing your blood pressure ) like jumping, running, lifting heavy weights, straining etc etc  The risk of bleeding is highest in the first 48 hours and decreases slowly up the about 10 days. It is very rare to bleed after 10 days.

However, lying in bed like a mummy in also counterproductive. Again, there are two factors.  Lying dead still increases the risk of a deep vein thrombosis- an uncommon but potentially devastating complication.  So this is one reason to walk around post operatively. The second advantage of limited activity is that it reduces swelling. Less swelling means less pain and quicker recovery. So the bottom line is to engage is mild activity and move around slowly without causing your pulse to race

Also remember there are many medications which cause bleeding, including some common drugs that can be purchased without prescription from a supermarket. Always check before taking any medication which has not been prescribed

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