While HealFast is a great tool for recovery, it's not the only one. As physicians we are invested in your recovery, and our medical team comes together often to select the most pressing topics that relate to your recovery.
Here is a preview of the topics we need to discus with you, because chances are, you simply didn't have time to discuss them in detail during your consultation.
Stress of surgery to our bodies is at least comparable to running a marathon. You should prepare like it! In addition to HealFast, getting proper meals around the time of surgery is incredibly important.
The basis for nutrition around surgery is preparation for your body to go into surgery in an anabolic state.
To accomplish this, increasing caloric intake in the days preceding surgery can be helpful. This should be achieved with complex carbohydrates and protein.
This should extend into a couple of hours before surgery with carbohydrate and electrolyte loaded drink like Gatorade or Pedialyte.
Confirm with your center. More details in our course series.
It is not a bad idea to try to get into the best physical shape before surgery if your medical condition allows it.
Whether injured or having surgery, early mobility is crucial.
Get your body moving as soon as you can tolerate, this prevents muscle breakdown, boosts immune system, and restarts your gastrointestinal system.
You may have to push through some of the pain, but do so with advice of physician or a physical therapist, it's important to do this safely.
If you are going for surgery, try to get yourself as fit as you can before going in, that may include some exercise. Sometimes physical therapy can help even before surgery, we call it prehabilitation.
More on how to achieve this in our series.
Body in motion stays in motion - one of Newtons laws and also applies to human physiology.
Even a few days of “bed rest” causes loss of strength and muscle mass, while the risks of blood clots, bed sores and pneumonia increase dramatically.
There is a 3-5% decrease in muscle strength per day and after 12 weeks of bed rest, bone density is decreased by 50%.
There is a notable decrease in the work of gastrointestinal system and markedly decreased cardiovascular conditioning.
Do what your doctors deems safe, but avoid doing nothing.
Push yourself on your road to recovery, even if it is exercises in bed, get creative, find something to do.
The more you know going in the less of a shock you will experience post-op.
Ask questions like when you will be able to eat after surgery? Walk? When will you be going home? Will you need any equipment at home to help with recovery? When will you be able to drive? What will your follow up be with your doctor? What will you take for pain? How long is recovery expected to last? What are some common complications?
In our series we include the best questions to ask your doctor, and also, how to find the best doctor for you. Also, do you know the difference in hospitals, and how to find a good one?
We've compiled all the information our patients have asked us over the years.
Collectively, as physicians and scientists we still don't completely understand sleep, but we know that it is necessity to good recovery.
Unfortunately sometimes hospital workflow hasn't caught up to this notion. If you are staying in the hospital, there are a couple things you can do.
Request to have your vital signs taken less frequently during sleep hours and your lab work to be done at an agreed upon time.
Otherwise, it's wouldn't be a surprise if you get woken up at 3am by a phlebotomist to draw your morning laboratory studies, only because this a routine. Arrange this early.
Our tip series will include some additional strategies, including what to do if you can't fall asleep, as well as some stress management resources.
Narcotic pain medicine has once been the mainstay of treating pain of surgery and injury.
The more we learn, the more we realize that these medications have a number side effects and risk addiction. Opiod (narcotic) pain medications can slow down gastrointestinal tract, make one drowsy, cause nausea, and cause problems breathing.
These are all factors that hinder a speedy recovery. Surgeries and injuries hurt, and although your goal should not be to be completely pain free, your pain needs to be controlled, bearable and tolerable.
Ask for a balanced cocktail of pain medications, each with a distinct mechanism of action. Ask for a multimodal pain regiment, like one we formulated into HealFast. Ask your anesthesiologist whether a regional anesthetic technique is possible for your surgery.
Ultimately, you will determine how much pain medicine to take. What's a good amount? We will go over that in our series as well.
Ask an Anesthesiologist
Your anesthesiologist is doing much more then just keeping you asleep.
Ask your anesthesiologist if he is used to doing a case like yours, and what anesthetic technique is recommended for this procedure and why.
Almost any procedure can be done with General Anesthesia, but some patients may benefit from other techniques, like Regional Anesthesia with or without sedation, or sedation alone.
Do your research and don't be afraid to ask why. Always tell your anesthesiologist or anesthetist about history of heart or lung issues, problems with anesthesia in yourself or family, history of nausea and motion sickness, sleep apnea, or if you've recently been sick with a respiratory infection.
One thing physicians always agree on is well, actually, they rarely agree on anything. Many medical ailments can be treated in a variety of fashions. Your doctor should never be offended if you ask for a second opinion, especially if you are about to undergo a large operations. Ask your provider what his outcomes are. Patient outcomes are almost never published, so you may have to do a bit of research on your institution and proceduralist. Make sure that your interventionalist is not only experienced, but has a high volume of that particular procedure in a medical center that has a long track record of taking care of patients like yourself. It goes without saying but those who specialize in a particular procedure in a center that often does that procedure tend to have patients that do better. Also, make sure you research the procedure you are undergoing, possible side effects, complications, as well as the estimated duration of stay in the hospital, and what your recovery will look like. Ask for the details!
Knowledge is power.
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With the nature of healthcare today, we simply don't have time to give you all the information you need. So we've created this course as a way to teach you the important topics.
We've leveraged our network of physicians to provide a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know and expect. And if we're missing something you want, we respond to your queries!