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Readers Respond: Tips for Recovering From Surgery

Responses: 3


Updated August 26, 2009

Unfortunately, surgery for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially Crohn's disease, can be common. A smooth and speedy recovery from surgery takes time, but it also takes some careful planning to ensure that you are able rest as stress-free as possible. What steps did you take to manage your time at home while recovering from surgery? Did you need help to get through those first days, or were you able to handle everything on your own?

Tips For Recovering From Surgery

Having suffered with Crohn's for 30 years. I underwent 22 different operations. Without a doubt the quickest recovery comes if you can get yourself in the best shape possible pre op. Unfortunately with Crohn's that is easier said than done. The key for me was trying to get up and walk as soon as you can post op. Plenty of times I would curse the physio coming but in reality it really does help. Also remember pain can be controlled and will eventually go away but you need to be mentally strong to cope. Set small but achievable goals each day and don't think too far ahead. I am just recovering from a bowel transplant and that has been the hardest thing I have had to cope with. Don't underestimate the love and support of family and friends. You can't do this alone and need a support network around you. Also don't leave hospital until you are certain that you can cope at home. Make sure everything is in place for when you leave so that you are not anxious.
—Guest Michael Seres

Get Help During Your Recovery

I think a lot depends on how badly off you are before surgery and right afterwards. I'd lost over 40 lbs, down to 94.6 lbs! I was so weak I spent the first month in a wheelchair mostly, and since I'd had two surgeries in a week (#2-emergency) I had to have help to sit up -- no tummy muscles! I had to use a walker later. So I got help. I had someone come and stay for a couple of weeks, borrowed a wheelchair, had someone do cleaning like bathrooms and kitchen. I also had very easy food available, some pre-made and frozen dinners for the family to heat and eat, and lots of soup for me. But mostly, if you're in that superbad case I was, do what the therapists and docs tell you! If they want you to practice walking, do it. If they give an elastic girdle thing to support your stomach, use it, mine was a huge relief! If they want you to strengthen tummy follow orders. If they give a weight restriction, obey! You don't want a hernia too! Don't try to do too much too soon!
—Guest Sofi

Recovery After Surgery

The best advice I could give is to be prepared and rent a walker to put next to the bed to help when you try to get out of bed. Roll on one side and grasp the walker to pull yourself up. It really helps with abdominal surgery. Also, I bought a toilet seat extender. It fits in the toliet to make it higher. Easier to sit on the toilet after surgery. Sounds crazy, but it helped me!
—Guest Cynde
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