Recover from Surgery

Going under the knife can be a trying time – especially if you need the surgery due to an accident.  For one thing, there is the cost but another concern is how to bounce back.  It doesn’t matter if the surgery is for something minor or something much more, getting back on your feet is always a struggle.  With that in mind, here are three ways to help you recover from surgery.

  • Let it Bleed

Well, probably not.  The idea is that banking your own blood can help you recover faster if you ever need surgery.  While this might not help you if you have been hurt in an accident and need a transfusion fast.  Making a habit of banking your blood and keeping or having it turned into blood products can help your body to naturally heal itself.

In case you have never heard of this before, it is a well-recognized medical practice called autologous transfusion and the practice has been widely adopted for years.  Now, one downside to banking your own blood is that you will need to pay for storage but the reality is that the costs can be much less than if you needed to pay for a blood transfusion while in surgery.

Another added benefit of an autologous transfusion is that the blood can be distilled into ‘blood products’ which segregate the plasma, red blood cells, and white bloods cells from each other.  The upside is that you can use the plasma during surgery, the excess white blood cells to make sure you don’t succumb to infection during recovery, and the red blood cells to help your muscles and tissue repair themselves.

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Keep in mind this is not something you can do intermittently.  If you know that you will need surgery, then you might want to start banking you blood three to four months before the procedure.  This will help you stock up on enough of the red stuff to help you get back on your feet in no time at all.

  • Eat Your Spinach

Remember Popeye?  Or when your parents kept telling you to eat your spinach?  There is a reason for this.  Spinach is full of the vitamins and nutrients your body need to stay healthy  – especially after major surgery.

While you might not want to load up on spinach, the idea is to make sure you that work with your surgeon to map out a supplement plan which will help to make sure your body gets the nutrients its needs to recover on its own.

Not only is this approach cheaper than loading up on expensive drugs and pain killers but a well-crafted supplement plan will help you to stay healthy for the rest of your life.  Depending on your health before your surgery, the plan should include a combination of Vitamins C, B, and E as well as Zinc and Bioflavonoids.  Just remember that this approach is not something you want to do on your own.  Instead, consult with your surgeon as the best among them will know when not to cut you open.

  • Let the Sunshine In

Now, this can be hard if you live in places where the sun only comes out once or twice a year – like Ithaca, New York.  But one of the best things you can do for yourself following surgery is to get some sun.

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The reason is simple, moderate exposure to sunlight is essential for your health.  In fact, research backs this up.  While many doctors will have you believe that only medication can speed recovery, this is largely because they have a vested interest in the prescriptions they write – and it is not your health.

It has been found that exposure to sunlight following surgery can lead to patients feel less pain and discomfort following surgery. This is not quack science, and a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that ‘patients staying on the bright side of the hospital’ perceived less stress, took less pain medication, and thus had lower hospital bills.

So, stay on the sunny side of the street following surgery and get at least 15 to 20 minutes of sun following your surgery instead of loading up on pain meds.  Not only will you feel better, but you won’t go [as] broke from your hospital bills.