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Six ways to speed up the healing process after surgery

If you have a pending surgical procedure on your calendar, you are not alone. There were 48 million surgical inpatient procedures performed in 2009 and numbers have been rising since, according to the National Center for Health. Your surgeon does his part while you are in the hospital but when you leave, recovery is your challenge. Here are six ways to speed up the healing process so you can get back to life as quickly as possible:

Give your body proper healing energy

Although you may not feel like eating after surgery, it is important to provide your body the needed energy to recover. Protein is very important to the healing process, so choose chicken, eggs and other proteins. Vitamin C found in fruits has also been shown to boost the healing process. Foods like fish and eggs, which contain iron and B12 help the body form needed new blood cells. Fiber and probiotics boost the immune system so it can fight off infection. A simple method for getting both fiber and probiotics is eating yogurt and granola. Avoid sugary snacks since they upset the body’s balance and suppress the immune system. Sports drinks with sodium should also be avoided because the sodium makes the body retain water, which can lead to swelling.

Get out of bed

As soon as possible, get up and start moving. Movement increases the flow of blood, which aids in healing. Walking can help prevent harmful blood clots also. Mild activity helps reduce the chances of developing pneumonia. When the doctor gives approval, start therapy to stretch scar tissue and regain muscle strength.

Remember to hydrate

Drinking low-calorie, non-carbonated beverages can help with the healing process. Plain water is great but flavored waters are good too. Fruits like watermelon, strawberries and grapefruit help with hydration also

Grant yourself permission to rest

Listen to your body for the weeks following surgery. Even though you feel anxious about getting back to work, allow yourself some time to recover. If you feel tired, take a rest. It is good to want to get moving but remember to take a break if you need it.

Get proper wound care

Wear clothing that does not irritate your surgical site. Change the dressing as instructed and look for signs of infection. If itching or other discomfort occurs, contact your physician for proper treatment. Be sure to protect scar tissue from the sun since newly formed scar tissue has no pigmentation. Use sunscreens recommended by your doctor.

Follow instructions

Do not override the doctor with your own treatment plan. Take all prescribed medications as instructed even if you don’t feel you need them. Do not drive, lift or perform other restricted movements. Even if your wound looks healed, there may be internal healing that has to take place before it is safe to do certain activities. Go back to the doctor for follow-up visits and share all concerns. Take a team approach and work with your surgeon for the best results.

An approach to healing

Following instructions for a special diet, wound care, physical therapy and medications may seem overwhelming, especially when pain and discomfort is limiting movement. For many, the fastest track to healing is staying in a short-term care facility where professionals help you along the healing journey.

One preferred location for this level of care is Glenview Terrace. Glenview Terrace offers health care expertise combined with an unrelenting commitment to comfort, dignity and guest satisfaction, making it one of the area’s finest choices for care following surgery or another medical event requiring a hospital stay.

Glenview Terrace provides one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies up to seven days a week with the goal of returning the patient home as quickly as possible. The dedicated nursing team and support staff are ready with round-the-clock care for every need that arises from wound care to pain management.

This specialized care is offered in an elegant environment. The well-appointed rooms and suites are filled with custom-designed furnishings and include a deluxe bathroom with a private shower. Post-hospital rehabilitation guests are pampered with a variety of amenities including attentive concierge service, morning coffee and newspaper delivered daily to the room, diverse menu selections and much more. The attractive grounds and tranquil fountain are just some of the extras that go into creating an inviting environment for recovery.

Care at Glenview Terrace is offered with the strictest and most up-to-date infection-control precautions under the guidance of Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC. Glenview Terrace also takes every additional precaution possible — including routine facility-wide testing and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 and frequent disinfecting of high-touch surfaces with EPA-approved cleaning materials.

When you are facing recovery challenges, consider Glenview Terrace, where the goal is to quickly and safely get you back to your independent lifestyle. For more information, visit or call 847-729-9090.