If you have had invasive thoracic surgery, you may be wondering how to best recover from it. There are numerous aspects to consider, including personal counseling, pain management, and exercises to help prevent stiffness.
Preoperative Personal Counseling
Thoracic surgery can be carried out openly or using minimally invasive techniques by a surgeon like Armen Parajian. A much larger incision is made during open surgery. Surgeons utilize fewer incisions and insert a camera into your chest during minimally invasive surgery. One of the best ways to make patients feel more comfortable and reduce hospital readmissions is by offering them preoperative personal counseling. This type of support is especially important when undergoing abdominal surgery.
Several studies have examined the efficacy of such counseling in the postoperative setting. A recent literature review highlights several methods for better preparing older patients for the ordeal.
In addition, some new RCTs are being conducted in different surgical subspecialties. The thoracic surgery community is no exception. It is also important to remember that frailty does not only affect older adults. Younger patients with comorbidities are the primary high-risk group. Despite this, minimally invasive techniques have made thoracic surgery safer for these patients.
Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is an innovative concept revolutionizing the perioperative period. It has become a standard in various medical specialties, including thoracic surgery. The ERAS protocols include early mobilization, nutrition, postoperative pain management, and other elements that can help minimize the length of hospital stay, decrease complications, and enhance patient recovery.
ERAS strategies are based on a multidisciplinary approach and require coordination among the various professionals involved in the perioperative care process. These include anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, and other health care providers. Various studies have found that ERAS strategies can reduce the in-hospital length of stay by two to three days. However, more diverse regions and sample sizes are needed to determine their effectiveness.
Aside from limiting the duration of hospitalization, ERAS can also reduce the financial burden on patients. In addition, it can improve the quality of life in the immediate postoperative period.
ERAS is based on evidence and provides a comprehensive perioperative pathway that helps optimize patient recovery. Studies have found that ERAS programs can significantly reduce the occurrence of postoperative complications, as well as improve the overall quality of patient care.
Exercises After Surgery to Prevent Stiffness
Invasive thoracic surgery can be painful, but exercise can go a long way toward getting you back on your feet. Several exercises can be done to improve the range of motion and prevent stiffness at home and in the workplace. If you can do these, you can return to your pre-surgery activities in no time.
While it might sound a little old hat, a well-thought-out plan will ensure your recovery is as quick and painless as possible. Some ideas include avoiding swimming before your incisions, doing a few short walks daily, and stretching out during your commute. You can also use your time at work to do more intense workouts.
If you’ve just undergone major surgery, you’ll need to be very careful when lifting, especially heavy objects. Also, only spend a little bit of time sitting down. Sitting for too long can cause strain and stiffness.
Thoracic surgery is one of the most painful surgical procedures, with severe postoperative pain. Surgical techniques that prevent and treat pain can reduce the risks and complications associated with thoracic surgery.
Multimodal analgesics are an ideal method for perioperative pain management. These approaches include the use of both intravenous and topical medications. Taking into account the multiple pathways of nociceptive input, the effectiveness of the analgesic can be optimized.
The gold standard in thoracic pain management is epidural analgesia. Epidural injections are inserted before general anesthesia and can be used with opioids to increase the analgesic effect. An alternative approach is a paravertebral block (PVB), which involves injecting local anesthetics into the paravertebral space.
Systemic analgesics as an adjunct to invasive techniques have been reported to have varying success. Some studies have shown that preemptive approaches can minimize the amount of analgesic used.
While systemic analgesics are a good option for some patients, the potential for complications is high. For example, the analgesic can cause hypoventilation and respiratory depression. Therefore, care must be tailored to each patient.