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Reduce Swelling After Surgery

Reduce Swelling After Surgery

A common complication of most surgical procedures is swelling on the operated site. This article discusses some ways to reduce swelling that occurs after surgery.
Arjun Kulkarni
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
The medical term for swelling is 'edema'. When there is an excess accumulation of watery fluids in the cells and tissues, it leads to edema. It can be safely said that swelling is no laughing matter, and especially when the same occurs after surgeries like hip surgery or knee replacement surgery. However, you need not worry about it as the swelling can be reduced very easily. Experts recommend a technique abbreviated as R.I.C.E. It stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Keeping these points in mind, along with others, have a look at the following measures.
Ice Pack
Undoubtedly one of the simplest ways to reduce any swelling and the first thing that comes to your mid when you see that pouchy swell is the old remedy; the ice pack. If you do not have an ice pack, you could just bind some chunks of freezer-made ice in a towel and apply it to the swollen area. For best results, you could apply the ice 4-5 times a day on the swollen area for 20 minutes. You could also use a cold compress which will free your hands from the responsibility of holding the ice up against the swollen area.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water serves a lot of functions in the body and will be particularly good to reduce swelling after surgery. Drinking more water will help flush out toxins from your system, and keep it hydrated. It will also reduce bloating and diminish the swell. You can consume up to 12, 8-oz glasses of water a day, to keep your body properly hydrated and reduce the swelling.
Healthy Diet
Your body will need to do some urgent repair after a surgery to rebuild the skin and the tissues that may have been damaged due to the surgery. Hence, it is essential to consume a good diet. Consume foods which are rich in proteins, omega 3 essential fatty acids and minerals as these nutrients particularly help along the healing process in the body. Thus, leafy vegetables and whole grains are good foods that reduce swelling after surgery. Reducing your sodium intake from foods temporarily may also be a good idea as sodium is a natural diuretic and reduces the level of water in your body.
Compression Garments
This is a good one. You get compression garments in almost all shapes and sizes which you can wear on your swelling and go about doing your daily routine without worrying about it. Compression garments apply just as much pressure as is needed to reduce the swelling in the body. Compression garment helps reduce the swelling by pushing out all the fluids that caused it. A compression garment also improves circulation and is very comfortable. It is recommended that you get a true compression garment and not try to imitate the same by wearing athletic tight shorts or sports bras. The effect may not be the same.
Massage and Elevation
A light, ten minutes massage by massage therapists would help reduce the swelling. But before you commence the therapy, consult your surgeon and doctor for proper guidance. Keeping the swollen part on elevation is also a good way to reduce the edema.
So these were some ways to reduce swelling, along with plenty of rest. Of course, it is better to check with your doctor before trying any of these types of treatments yourself.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.