Surgery is a big deal, even if the procedure is relatively quick and minimally-invasive, as so many are today. When getting ready to undergo, it is always a good idea to plan ahead.
Preparing for Shoulder Surgery Recovery
Here, we devote our attention to informing patients of the items and strategies they want to have in place before arriving home after shoulder surgery.
Preparing For Bathing
Bathing can provide a sense of comfort and normalcy to a recovering patient. These benefits go out the window if it is impossible to perform certain tasks.
- A detachable shower head lets you aim water where you want it and keep it away from where you don’t, like your incisions.
- A shower chair is helpful for post-surgical recovery because it lets the recovering patient enjoy the sensation of bathing. Prescription pain medications may cause grogginess and present a fall hazard. The temporary use of a chair ensures safety as well as comfort.
- Pump soap dispensers eliminate the need to lift up a bottle and pour or lather bar soap between the hands. With a pump, all you need is one good arm.
Preparing For Healing
Food is one of the best medicines that we have during surgical recovery. On one hand, nutrition is vital to cellular recovery. On the other hand, meals need to be as convenient as possible so the recovering patient does not have to cook every day.
- Fresh is best, but after surgery, it may be necessary to rely on frozen meals for a time. If there is time to prepare before surgery, some patients make their own healthy meals that can be frozen, including soups. If store-bought meals are selected, there are several low-calorie options to choose from.
- Fiber is your friend after surgery. The combination of physical disruption to the body and the use of prescription pain medications often leads to constipation after surgery. Patients are encouraged to eat high-fiber foods to promote healthy bowel movements, which will, in turn, reduce stress and discomfort. Choices include black beans, apples, broccoli, oatmeal, blueberries and raspberries, and air-popped popcorn. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration that will also cause constipation.
Preparing For Comfort
- Take a look through your closet before shoulder surgery. If all of your shirts have to go on over your head, consider buying a few button-up items. These are much easier to get in and out of.
- Keep pillows nearby to support the healing arm, as well as overall posture. It is important for the body to be able to remain in a relaxed state as much as possible during recovery.
- Get support for physical and emotional needs. Sometimes after surgery, what you really need is some good company. Have friends and family on standby.