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Top Tips For Looking After Yourself Following Abdominal and Pelvic Surgery

Nutrition for healing

  • Aim to eat a whole foods, vegetable and protein rich diet (high fibre)
  • Consider the use of probiotics supplements especially if you have been on anti-biotics

Looking after your mind

Allow your body to heal properly by having some rest post-operatively. The amount of rest will depend on the type of surgery that you have had. It can help to do some relaxation techniques, meditation or mindfulness too. There are some great Apps such as Headspace or Calm.

Looking after your body

Physiotherapy;

A women’s health physiotherapist (http://www.quayphysio.co.uk/team/wendy-farren-msc-grad-dip-phys-mcsp-aacp/ ) will guide you through appropriate exercises. Initially we will look at appropriate strengthening and stretching exercises. We will also give pelvic floor exercises, postural correction and scar care. Your exercises will be graded and you will start gently and gradually build to a moderate level of exercise. At 6 weeks it is okay to start on gentle Pilates exercises (http://www.quayphysio.co.uk/classes/)

Lifestyle-

  • It is a good idea to avoid tobacco and passive smoke.
  • Maintain a balance between rest and activity
  • It is best to limit lifting for six weeks post-surgery.
  • Maintain healthy sleep habits. This blog gives you some advice on sleep habits. http://www.quayphysio.co.uk/one-simple-thing-to-do-for-better-sleep/
  • Drinking plenty (1.5-2 litres total fluid per day) can help to prevent dehydration, constipation, cleanses your body of toxins and reduces the risk of blood clots post-surgery

Bowel habits

Eating plenty of fibre will help to empty your bowel on a regular basis. The recommended amount is between 18-30 g fibre per day. High fibre can be obtained from foods such as wholemeal bread, porridge, vegetables such as peas, beans, sprouts, pulses, avocados and fruit. Making sure that you drink plenty of fluid can help too (1.5- 2L or 3-4 pints per day) to prevent constipation and straining.

It is normal to empty your bowel between 3 times per day and 3 times per week.

Sitting with your feet on a small stool, 20-30cm high and leaning forwards can help to get you in a good position for emptying your bowels more easily. Try to relax your back passage and gently brace your abdomen to enable you to empty without straining. Sometimes it helps to blow out or make sounds such as ‘shh’ and ‘grr’ to allow for relaxation of the pelvic floor and sphincter!

You may find that you require some laxatives or suppositories to help you empty if you are taking pain-killers post op.

If you have any other questions about what to do after these types of surgery or anything else for the matter, please don’t hesitate to call us or email. We want to hear from you and help you! Call 01548 852355 or email info@quayphysio.co.uk.