Neck surgery (like any other surgical intervention) is a serious matter. Recovery involves rest and rehabilitation and self-nurture. It’s hard for a lot of us to rest in these harried times, but perhaps it’s helpful to think about neck surgery recovery as a break from the madness.
Embracing your down time isn’t really a choice but the way you embrace it is central to a successful and total recovery. You’ll be subject to certain precautions during the initial recovery period and you should heed your doctor’s orders in this regard.
We’ve written this post to prepare people scheduled for neck surgery. Knowledge is power, so we offer you this brief informational piece about neck surgery recovery: what you should know.
After Your Procedure
Your doctor’s job is to ensure that you have as successful a recovery as possible. But because your doctor can’t always be there, your end of the deal is to follow instructions to care for the operated area and to adhere to limitations prescribed as to which types of activities are allowed and which are not.
Having a recovery partner to assist you during this period is essential. You won’t be able to lift anything weighing more than 8 pounds and you won’t be able to bend over to pick things up. While it’s clear that you’ll probably spend most of your recovery resting, when you get up and move around, it’s important that you do so mindfully.
Obtaining a post-surgical “grabber” is necessary. But you can rent one for a small donation from your local Red Cross, who offer all types of recovery apparatus, from raised toilet seats to mobility aids.
Driving is out of the question for at least the initial two weeks after surgery. The safety of others on the road (as well as your own) demands that you not drive. Have your recovery partner drive you if you need to go somewhere.
You’ll be advised not to shower for a prescribed period, due to the risk of infection from the incision you’ve had to accomplish your neck surgery. “Horse baths” are the order of the day until you’re given the go ahead to take a shower. Console yourself with the pleasant thought of your first post-surgical shower!
Red Flags In Recovery
Your doctor will walk you through these, but it’s good to keep them in mind and essential to let your doctor know if you experience any of the following:
- Bleeding or other fluids oozing from the incision
- Breathing problems
- Pain, numbness or tingling
- difficulty with elimination in the bathroom
Most of all, your job as a patient is to be patient. We know you want to get back to your pre-surgical life. But rushing yourself back into the fray isn’t the way to do it. Take your time and use your recovery to read all those unread books you’ve been wanting to get to. Netflix and chill. Ask your recovery partner to make some popcorn and fluff up your pillows. Sleep.
Contact us for more information.