The Importance of Postoperative Care

Nursing Care

Kami Travers

April 29, 2024

I have seen the benefit of postoperative nursing care firsthand. I also saw, and took care of, those who did not have sufficient support. There was a very evident contrast. What I witnessed in those that did not have adequate support was anxiety resulting in a longer hospitalization, readmission to the hospital, and even additional surgery due to complications.

For years I took care of women who had breast reconstruction. This was when surgeons would keep patients overnight in the hospital at least one night. The women who had support and education prior to surgery experienced considerably less anxiety than those who lacked preoperative education and had support following their procedure. Even so much so that the hospital accreditation system eventually created jobs for nurses to assist in preoperative education because they saw the numerical benefit of reduced hospitalization time for patients who received education prior to surgery. Apart from Restorative Nursing, this is what I get to do. I work with patients pre and postoperatively, ensuring they have education on what to expect after surgery, and additionally, to ensure that support is in place for them in their recovery phase at home. I hear time and time again how helpful it is to know what to expect when coming out of surgery and that he or she has assistance if a complication arises.

Anxiety inhibits our bodies from adequate rest and healing. Recovering from a major surgical procedure requires rest more than anything. When rest is restricted, additional complications can occur. Any type of surgery puts us at risk for a list of complications, but there are things within our power that can minimize the risk of developing certain problems. This is where having the support you need at home is crucial. Many cosmetic and plastic surgeries require limited mobility right after surgery. When patients cannot be compliant with their surgeons’ restrictions simply because they do not have help at home, problems occur. Complications like hematomas, or bleeding, seromas, or fluid buildup, may seem like minor problems when compared to a blood clot in your leg, but if these issues are not taken care of properly, they can lead to tissue death requiring an emergent surgery. I do not say this to scare you! Unfortunately, I saw this many times while working in the hospital; emergent surgery to save tissue and or expanders removed due to infection or tissue necrosis (or tissue death).

I believe strongly in quality preoperative/postoperative care for everyone. You have thought about this decision and deserve beautiful results. My hope is that you choose our expert care to help guide you along the way. Allowing us to care for you during this physically/emotionally demanding time on your body will ensure an easier transition to a more confident and beautiful self. 

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