Perhaps one of the scariest things a doctor can tell you is that you need surgery. However, nowadays, there are minimally invasive surgeries available to patients, which can take away much of the intimidating parts of surgery. However, every surgery has a recovery phase — even minimally invasive surgery.
How Long Is The Recovery Phase For Minimally Invasive Surgery?
With minimally invasive surgeries, the incisions are much smaller than in traditional open surgery. Smaller incisions take less time to heal and help avoid significant damage to healthy tissues surrounding the surgery site. A smaller surgical wound decreases muscle and soft tissue irritation, reducing pain.
Patients need to temporarily limit their physical activities after surgery. Most patients can handle light activities a week after the surgery and get back to work after another week or so. It usually takes three to six months to completely recover from minimally invasive surgery, depending on the specific procedure performed.
What Should You Expect Immediately After Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive surgeries require a shorter stay in the hospital. After your procedure, you will be brought to the recovery room to rest. Once the anesthesia wears off, you will be prescribed pain medicine and recovery instructions. Patients can usually return home afterward, depending on their physical health and the type of surgery they had done. Orthopedic patients, for instance, may need to incorporate physical therapy into their recovery plan.
What Should You Expect During At-Home Recovery?
Since the majority of recovery will be done at home, there are some things a patient can expect to encounter during this time:
Limited Physical Activity
Depending on the procedure and your specific condition, returning to normal activities may take a few weeks. Your surgeon will provide you with a timeline for your recovery. However, it’s best to expect to restrict activities in the first few weeks of recovery. Avoid bending, lifting, and making sudden or twisting movements.
Generally, patients can handle light activities three days after coming home. They can also begin physical therapy as soon as possible, so long as they get their doctor’s approval. Simple stretches and exercise, after all, help improve blood flow, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain, aiding in the overall recovery of the body.
Returning to work depends on several factors. If your job requires manual labor, it’s better to take as much time as you need before going back to work. Don’t rush back to work; give yourself time to work back into your routine gradually.
Surgical Wound Care
Always keep the incision site clean and properly bandaged. Change the dressing regularly and keep the wound dry, so that it doesn’t get infected. After five days or so, you can wash the incision and pat it dry.
If you notice pain, swelling, pus, or other signs of infection, contact your doctor immediately.
Because minimally invasive surgery doesn’t disrupt muscles and soft tissues, postoperative pain is significantly less than what most patients experience after traditional open surgery. However, you might still experience some discomfort, such as mild pain and soreness. Your surgeon can prescribe pain medication for symptom relief. Remember to take your medication only as directed.
In the first week following surgery, physical therapy may be recommended. The purpose of physical therapy is to strengthen muscles, rebuild stamina, and regain mobility and flexibility, thus enabling patients to optimize recovery and return to normal function. The physical therapy program that will be implemented will usually depend on the type of minimally invasive surgery the patient had, as well as their physical condition.
Minimally Invasive Surgery in Little Rock, AR
Minimally invasive surgeries remove much of the physical and mental stresses patients experience when having surgery. However, a large part of its success hinges on the recovery phase. Thus, it’s vital to find a surgeon that you can trust to be your partner during this process.
If you’re looking for a trusted orthopedic clinic to diagnose your orthopedic problem and perform minimally invasive surgery, Bowen Hefley Orthopedics has everything you need. Dr. William Hefley, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, works collaboratively with our team to deliver outstanding treatment outcomes. We can handle many different musculoskeletal problems affecting the shoulder, hip, and knee.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hefley, call our friendly staff at (800) 336-2412. Alternatively, simply fill out our online appointment request form.