A person’s emotional and psychological well-being can affect their recovery from surgery or illness.
Research shows that the stress of an illness, injury or recovery from surgery can all have a significant impact on a patient’s physical and psychological state.
Married coronary bypass patients who received more hospital visits, took less pain meds and recovered quicker than unmarried patients.
Those recovering from heart surgery with stronger religious beliefs had fewer complications and shorter hospital stays. The effects of these beliefs were stronger among women than men.
Depressive symptoms were associated with longer hospital stays.
Highly optimistic patients recovering from illness were subsequently less likely to report being bothered by their symptoms.
For cancer patients, coping with support of friends and family, and focusing on staying positive, was associated with less emotional distress. Avoiding discussing or thinking about the illness or distancing oneself from friends and family came with more distress.
If a patient goes into an operation with a sense of preparedness, psychologically and practically, the chance of a successful outcome increases.
tips for a good recovery
1 - Find an experienced surgeon with whom you feel comfortable.
2 - Educate yourself - Ask your doctor and learn as much as possible before the operation about post-op care, precautions, and possible complications.
3 - Seek a second opinion if you have any doubts, with a well-respected surgeon.
4 - Plan ahead - Schedule the surgery at a time most suitable to take off work and the least disruptive to your family.
5 – Do not let the risks outweigh the benefits in your mind. Don’t go into your surgery dwelling on the potential complications.
6 - Have a positive view by focusing on the high success rate of your surgery.
7 - Gain perspective by talking with others who had the same proceduree. Other success stories can remarkably ease your mind.
8 - Visualise life after surgery - Recognize that the pain will subside and time and patience are needed to recover. You will feel better.
9 - Acknowledge anxiety - Realize that you may feel increasingly tense or anxious as the surgery date approaches. This is normal!
10 - Commit yourself to your recuperation - Actively participate in the process and adhere to the doctor’s guideline, e.g. follow precautions, take medications correctly, do daily exercises, avoid smoking.
11 - Practice using crutches if they will be required after surgery so awkwardness is overcome.
12 - Indulge in your rehabilitation - Don’t view the recovery period as time lost, but a time to rest and heal.
13 - Keep organised - Schedule appointments and take care of any ad-hoc tasks as much as possible in the weeks prior to surgery.
14 - Follow proper nutrition – Take multi-vitamins and eat well-balanced meals in the weeks or months prior to surgery, so that the healing of surgical wounds will be promoted.
15 – Sort out your home - Make your environment comfortable and ready for your homecoming before you go into the hospital, e.g. raised toilet seats, a TV in the bedroom.
16 - Arrange for someone to be with you, especially the first week or two after you go home from the hospital, until you become independent and are able to care for yourself at home.
17 – Assume responsibility for your recovery. The surgeon and doctors can only do so much. Once you have left the hospital, the healing process is up to you.
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