Here are 6 Things You Should Not Do After a Liver Surgery. No matter what type of liver surgery you’re about to have, recovery is the most important part of the process. Even after a procedure that’s not as invasive as a liver biopsy, you would need to take some precautionary measures. More complicated procedures such as hepatectomy (liver resection), where a portion or all of your liver is removed, usually involve more extended and difficult recovery with a strict list of things you should and should not do. That’s why we’ve consulted a team of physicians specializing in digestive health and found out what you shouldn’t do after liver surgery.
Things you should not do after liver surgery and what to do instead
Before we proceed with steps to a successful recovery from hepatectomy, let’s first find out a little bit more about this procedure. As we mentioned, this procedure involves removing a portion of the patient’s liver, and as long as the rest of your liver is healthy, you can have up to two-thirds of your liver removed. It is possible for your liver to regrow. In fact, you can expect your liver to return to its normal size if your remaining liver is healthy.
Even though this surgical operation is considered technically challenging, it has exceptionally high success rates. Of course, due to the complexity of the procedure, it’s crucial to find a surgeon with extensive experience in this field. Most importantly, focusing on your recovery and adapting your lifestyle to your new situation is essential. If you prepare your home for post-surgery recovery and take the process seriously, you’ll ensure to heal quicker. Now let’s find out what you should avoid doing during your recovery from liver surgery.
#1 Don’t push yourself too hard after the surgery
After the surgery, you’ll be expected to start moving right away. However, this doesn’t mean that you should push yourself too hard and expect to be jumping out of bed instantly. Trying to go beyond your limits, especially that early after your surgery, can only have the opposite effect and make the healing process more difficult.
Instead, it’s best to keep things gradual. After you wake up from surgery, you should begin by doing simple leg exercises like wiggling your toes, stretching your legs straight, and rotating your feet.
Every half-hour, spend a few minutes on each of these. The sooner you can get back on your feet, the better. Make sure to stop doing this if it causes you any discomfort, and notify your nurse or doctor. You should be able to stand within eight of your surgery.
#2 Avoid strenuous activities
No matter how active your lifestyle is, you will need to take a break from your favorite activities until your doctor says it’s ok. Don’t engage in any vigorous physical activity, such as biking or jogging, until your doctor gives the all-clear. However, mild exercise is encouraged, and you can slowly raise the intensity as your recovery progresses.
#3 But don’t lie and rest all the time either
Even though resting and getting enough sleep is crucial for your recovery, this doesn’t mean you should avoid all activities. Quite the opposite, activities such as walking can only aid in your recovery and help you heal faster.
Therefore, make an effort to try to walk every day, gradually increasing the distance you pass. Taking a few more steps each day will help you build up your stamina. In addition to improving circulation, walking can help ward off pneumonia and constipation.
#4 Avoid heavy lifting at all costs
During your post-surgery recovery, it’s crucial to avoid any straining. This means that lifting anything heavy is forbidden for at least eight weeks after your hepatectomy. Forget about picking up your kids, carrying hefty shopping bags and milk containers, holding a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, a vacuum cleaner, or anything else that fits into this category.
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to follow this instruction. Remember – there are always ways to complete your tasks without the need to compromise your recovery process or, even worse, cause a severe injury. Nowadays, there are always professionals you can hire to do the heavy lifting for you. From food deliveries to furniture movers, you can simply let experts handle it while you focus on getting better.
#5 Forget about driving and working for some time
Many people make the mistake of returning to work too early after liver surgery. Focusing on work can help you keep your mind off the pain, but it’s not worth pushing yourself too hard at the expense of your recovery. That’s why it’s best to take at least a couple of weeks off, depending on what type of job you do, Your work will still be waiting for you, but for the time being, you should focus on healing properly.
Another thing you won’t be able to do straight after your hepatectomy is to drive, at least for a few weeks. However, when you are able to do this is entirely individual. Even once you feel ready to drive short distances, such as dropping your kids to school, consult with your doctor first.
#6 Don’t drink alcohol for a while
Lastly, even though this one is pretty obvious, we felt a need to mention it. Even though it might not be the cause of your liver issues, alcohol is one of the liver’s biggest enemies, and you should avoid it for a while after your surgery. Alcohol can cause damage to your healing liver and delay your recovery. Therefore, before going out for celebratory drinks with your friends and toasting to your successful recovery, consult with your doctor and make sure that it’s safe to do so.
We wish you a quick and easy recovery after your liver surgery
We hope that now that you know which things you should not do after liver surgery, you’ll be able to prepare better for what’s waiting for you. Even though it won’t be easy, you need to give your liver the best care by giving yourself time to recover properly. We wish you the best of luck!
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It is our mission “To provide compassionate, high quality, cost-effective care to patients with gastrointestinal related problems.”