There are about 50 million surgical procedures performed every year in the United States. However, many people do not follow the doctor's orders after surgery. Here are tips on how you can keep your recovery on track and avoid costly mistakes.
Going under the knife already has its risks, but not following the proper recovery procedure can be even riskier. Mistake number one is staying in bed for too long.
"Making sure that we get them up and walking around to avoid things like blood clots and pneumonia is critically important," says Scott Steele, MD, MBA, Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic.
As soon as the doctor has cleared you to move around, do it. A little physical activity also wakes up your gut.
"Their bellies are able to wake up faster, they feel better faster and they're able to get home sooner," continued Dr. Steele.
But also make sure you're not doing too much too soon. If the doctor clears you to walk a little every day that may not necessarily mean that you can start lifting 30-pound boxes. Pay attention to the doctor's do's and don'ts. If you overdo it, it may set you back in your recovery. One final mistake to avoid is not taking your meds as prescribed. According to the CDC, about 30 percent of prescriptions are never filled and 50 percent are not taken as prescribed. Staying on top of your meds during recovery will keep you out of the hospital and your recovery on track.
Another thing to be careful of is getting behind the wheel after surgery. Your reaction time may be slower and that can get you into an accident. So don't drive until your doctor has cleared you.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
Health Watch: Avoid these recovery mistakes