How to Maximize Your Rest After Surgery

You’ve made it through your surgery and now you’re heading home to recover – congratulations! Recovery can be a difficult process, so you should get as much rest as possible to allow your body the greatest amount of healing time. This can be easier said than done when you’re dealing with the pain and swelling from your surgery. To help you get through your recovery, here are a few tips to maximize your rest.

Get Your Home Ready Before Surgery

Most plastic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, so you’ll likely be going home after your procedure is finished. You’ll probably feel a little groggy, sore, and swollen, so the last thing you’re going to want to do is hunt down pillows and painkillers. Getting your home ready for your recovery before you even go to your surgery will help you feel more prepared and less anxious about leaving the doctor’s office. Set up a place for you to relax with lots of blankets and extra pillows that is easy to access within your house.

Buy Everything You Need (And Then Some!)

As part of preparing your home for your recovery, make sure you get all the supplies you’ll need. If you need more pillows, blankets, or food supplies, take a couple trips to the store. Fill all your prescriptions, including any that your surgeon gives you. For that matter, make sure you get all the supplies your surgeon recommends for your recovery. Stock up on anything and everything that you think you might need, including things to take care of your family or pets. Even if you don’t know that you’ll need something, it’s better for you to have it than not.

Avoid Drinking Caffeinated Beverages

Almost everyone enjoys caffeine in some form. For most people, it’s a staple that gets them through the day. However, you should be avoiding caffeine during your recovery. It can interfere with your pain medication, which will create more discomfort and prevent you from getting enough sleep. This will definitely not maximize your recovery! Drink water or caffeine-free herbal teas instead.

Change Up Your Sleeping Arrangements

If you normally sleep with a pet or another person, you should consider changing your sleeping arrangements for at least the first couple weeks. You’re going to be feeling sore and uncomfortable while you recover, so you’ll to want to be as comfortable as possible while you’re resting. You also want to avoid getting any bumps that could come from a restless sleeping partner. Pick a spot where you will be the most comfortable and get that spot ready for your recovery. Then set up a different sleeping spot for your partner or pet.

Avoid Moving More Than Necessary

The more you move, the more you’re exerting yourself and the less time your body has to rest. This is true even when you’re sleeping. If you’re one of those people who move around a lot in their sleep, you might have to take a couple extra steps to try and minimize your movement. Practice lying still when you’re awake on your couch or bed. Put extra pillows around your body when you’re getting ready to sleep so that you have less space in which to move. If you still move around, that’s okay; you don’t have to be completely immobile. The goal is simply for you to avoid moving more than you need to so your body can spend as much time as possible on your recovery.

Pay Attention to Your Body

This is arguably one of the most important aspects of your recovery. Your body will know what it needs, including when it needs to rest. If you feel like you need to sleep more than you normally do, that’s perfectly fine and you totally should. If you need to sit on the couch and watch movies for awhile, definitely do it. Listening to your body will go a long way toward maximizing your recovery from surgery.

Scheduling a Patient Consultation

If you are interested in any of our procedures here at Weniger Plastic Surgery, you can schedule a patient consultation by calling (843) 757-0123 or by filling out our Patient Contact form here on our website. Frederick G. Weniger, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 16 years of experience in a wide variety of surgical and nonsurgical procedures.