Understanding the phases of recovery is essential in successfully healing from surgery. Here’s what to know.
Undergoing any kind of surgical experience is never fun. The time spent during the healing from surgery can be quite stressful and painful. The recovery period feels like an endless stream of confusion that can make you wonder about a lot of things.
For instance; am I supposed to feel this bad? Is this how I will look? When will I finally feel like myself again?
All these thoughts are very normal. Knowing the right answers can lower your anxiety and help you while you are healing from surgery. It is important to educate yourself about the recovery phase so you can keep yourself calm and heal easily and successfully. With the right support, guidance, and education, you will know how your body will look/act like along each phase of recovery.
Healing From Surgery
Whether you are undergoing an elective, plastic, Ob/Gyn, or orthopedic surgery, your body will undergo three phases of healing; acute/inflammatory phase, Sub-acute/Proliferative Phase, and Chronic/ Remodeling Phase. In this article, we will dissect each of the phases and educate you. Without further ado, let’s get started:
Step 1: Acute/Inflammatory Phase
The acute/inflammatory phase will begin immediately after the surgical procedure. It is often characterized by redness, pain, and swelling. This particular stage can last anywhere from a few days to six weeks. During this phase, your body’s main goal will be to protect the affected area. This sense of guarding will impact your mental state as well. Most people tend to curl up in their homes to heal in private and have a tendency to withdraw and keep to themselves. Your swelling, bruising and redness will be very pronounced.
A great thing you can do is book yourself in a recovery center. At Pearl Recovery, you will experience a healing, calming, and therapeutic environment. You will be greeted with positivity and warmth which instantly makes you feel better when you are healing from surgery. If you want personalized, compassionate, and focused care, look no further than pearl recovery. Changing your healing journey from a solo trip into a team effort will make a world of a difference.
The initial recovery date will be focused on mobilizing your lymphatic fluid, reducing swelling, and kick-starting the overall healing process. You will have an extra set of hands, eyes to monitor you and help you heal. When you get proper care from the professionals, recovering from surgery will be much easier.
Step 2: Sub-Acute/Proliferative Phase
Think of it as the second phase of recovery. It will last for 3 to 6 weeks post-surgery. In some cases, it can last for about a year (depending on the type of surgery). During this phase, the visible signs of inflammation will subside, the new tissues will start to form, and the edges of your wounds will start to pull back together. Keep in mind that your new tissue is fragile and still needs a lot of care.
Your mind will start to feel better but your body will still be lagging behind. In certain cases, the bruising and limited range of motion can make them feel frustrated.
A few of the questions that might pop up in your head are: Can I return back to work? Should I start exercising? Is this how my final results are going to look like? When will I finally feel better?
Your tissues are new and fragile at this point. They are susceptible to both stagnancy and injury. Hence, you need the appropriate mobilization of the tissues. This cannot be done at home and requires professional help.
At Pearl Recovery Retreat & Wellness, we have a pre-operative therapist that will analyze your particular case and determine what will work for you. Certain patients require to move a bit while others need to slow down their activity. It all depends on what surgery you underwent and how your body is healing from surgery. Our professional team members will answer all your questions, give you the desired support and help you get through the fears and anxiety associated with healing.
Step 3: Chronic/Remodeling Phase
This one is certainly the longest phase. It can last from several months to even a year. During the third stage of recovery, your tissue will organize and mature itself. In some cases, you might experience confusing messaged from your body. Even when you are fully healed, your brain’s alarm will be still turned on. It can take some time to completely go away.
Your pain will completely go away but you might be left with persisting symptoms that impact your range of motion and mental wellbeing. Don’t fret, you will be back to normal in just a few days. If you are struggling mentally or physically, it is important to take the help of professionals. With the right knowledge and help, you will be able to tackle any mental and physical challenges.
One thing that helps is to stop trying to find the ‘old normal’ and try to ‘discover the new normal’. Your body will be different post any kind of surgery. Accepting the changes is the only way forward.
Your therapist will help you adjust to post-surgery life. Remodeling is very difficult to push through and resembles the final few miles of a marathon. With the help from your therapist and staying consistent, you can pass the finish line with great strength.
Congratulations! The three phases of healing are over now. You have all the freedom that comes with good health and well-being. Maintaining this health and wellbeing requires constant effort on your part and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Make sure to eat well and lead an active lifestyle. Drink loads of water, take your vitamins regularly, pay close attention to your mental health.
Visit your doctor regularly to make sure there aren’t any health glitches, get massages, and regular tune-ups to keep feeling healthy. Pay attention to your mental and physical health. At any point post healing, your sense something isn’t functioning well in your body, immediately get in touch with a health care professional.
Last but not the least, be grateful for your health and don’t take it for granted!