Having any surgical procedure can be stressful and there is always a period of recovery that one must go through afterwards. However, when the surgery involves area of the stomach, the recovery process could be a little more in depth. After all, not all surgeries will have an effect on the way you eat for weeks or months at a time. There are several things you should know about in regards to your recovery after a Hiatal hernia repair surgery.
As mentioned earlier, you are going to be sent home with a number of diet limitations. This does not mean restrictions as there is a major difference. It is not that you will have to watch what you eat, it is that you will have to watch the way you eat it. For example, you will be instructed to take small bites and chew each one thoroughly before swallowing. The idea here is to make sure your food is almost fully liquid before swallowing it. Some people prefer to eat soup and other soft foods for a few days. Remember that bread and meat will be the hardest to swallow so maybe stay away from them for at least a week or so. Also, it cannot be stressed enough that spicy foods and foods that are known to produce gas such as beans should be avoided for quite awhile. Do not drink carbonated drinks until your doctor has instructed you that it is alright to do so.
This cannot be stressed enough. More than likely you will be sent home with pain medications. Do not be afraid to use these as necessary. If you find that one of your medications is making you feel sick to your stomach, which can easily happen with pain meds, report this to your doctor and see about an alternate drug. If you doctor permits it you may be able to take a nice warm shower in order to relax you and make you feel better. Keep in mind that this may not be allowed for several days after surgery. You may expect to feel a bit of discomfort for a good 3 to 6 months following your surgery but do not worry as the severity and frequency will minimize with time.
Take Care of Your Lungs
After a surgical procedure one of the things that you must consider is the health and function of your lungs. Making sure you do breathing exercises during your recovery time will help prevent the possibility of pneumonia or lung congestion. In fact, lung disorders and illnesses tend to me the most common after effects of surgeries of all types so do not slack where this is concerned. Chances are you’ve been given a spirometer, use it a minimum of 4 times per day in the beginning. If you do notice any lung congestion, a tight and painful cough or spike a fever, contact your doctor right away.
Do Not Worry About Appetite
You may not feel like eating much of anything directly following this surgical procedure and that is fine for a couple of days. However, if after 48 hours you still have not developed an appetite contact your doctor as you need to eat in order for your body to get the sustenance it needs for the healing process. If you cannot eat solid foods then try drinking meal replacement shakes as these provide nutrition and act more like a beverage, making it easier for people to tolerate.
The most important consideration after a surgery is always going to be infection. If you notice redness, swelling or heat coming from the site then you should seek medical attention. Also a fever is never a good sign after any sort of surgical procedure. These are the things your doctor will most likely instruct you to watch for. In most cases the healing process goes quite smoothly but be aware of the risks and pat attention to the signals your body is sending you.