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The most common side effect post-surgery is inflammation or swelling, and it can cause severe discomfort if it is not treated properly. Whether you’re looking to put an ice pack over the inflamed region or take anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medicines, there are many remedies to combat post-surgery swelling.
Let’s go over some tips to help you deal with swelling or inflammation after surgery and make the recovery process quick and smooth.
Tips To Help Alleviate Swelling
Drink Lots Of Water!
The medications used during and after surgery can cause bloating and discomfort. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out your system and improve your bowel movements. Although drinking water might seem counterintuitive, trust us, adequate fluid intake can reduce swelling. Dehydration causes the body to hold on to the fluids it already has, which contributes to swelling. Doctors recommend drinking 1.5 liters to 2 liters of water daily.
Introduce A Healthy Diet
Surgery can take a toll on your body, while at the same time, your body needs to repair damaged tissues and encourage healing. Introducing a healthy diet can aid in the healing process and reduce post-surgery inflammation.
Proteins, omega 3, vitamins, fibers, and minerals are all essential in providing the energy your body needs to heal. Grains and vegetables are great food recommendations, especially leafy greens, as they not only contain the necessary nutrients but also have water.
Reduce Sodium Intake
Why is it that you feel thirsty after consuming something salty? Well, sodium is a natural diuretic, which means that the consumption of sodium affects the level of water in a person’s body.
Canned soups, instant noodles, and ready-made meals are all high in sodium content and must be avoided at all times after surgery. Deli meats and junk foods are also packed with sodium. Consuming a lot of sodium increases fluid retention, and you don’t want that. You need to flush out your system while improving your overall health.
Consume Essential Supplements
Our lifestyles are far from perfect, and we don’t always get the necessary minerals, vitamins, and essential nutrients to live a strong and healthy life. It is important to take supplements after your surgery to aid in wound healing and reduce swelling. Lack of nutrients post-surgery is known to cause complications, reduced healing, and longer recovery periods.
Apply Ice Packs
For immediate relief of swelling, doctors recommend applying clean ice packs over the inflamed region. Ice causes contractions in the blood vessels, which alleviates pain and provides relief. However, it is important to take care while using ice packs because if you leave them for too long, you risk getting ice burns or frostbites.
Do not place the icepack directly on your skin, but wrap it in a cloth and apply it to the inflamed area. Use the icepack for 30 minutes and then give it a 15-minute break. Repeat this for the next few days.
For more information on how to manage swelling after surgery, it is important that you speak to your surgeon or family doctor.