Rehab After Surgery: Why You Need It To Recover


When you’re discharged from the hospital after surgery, you may be eager to go home right away and resume business as usual. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.

To get back to your normal, everyday life, you may need to take part in a rehabilitation program involving a variety of therapies, exercises, and medications. And though you may be tempted to skip it, doing so could cause injury, illness, or unnecessary pain.

The Goal of Post-Surgery Rehab

The success of a surgery depends largely upon how well you take care of yourself during your recovery period – and this is especially true for older adults. It can be easy to overexert yourself, or to experience atrophy from remaining inactive.

Post Rehab is about striking the balance between rest and exertion so you can regain your strength while simultaneously allowing your body to heal. The goal of rehab after surgery is to get you back on your feet, so you can continue living a healthy and independent life.

Types of Rehab

Depending on the type of surgery you’ve had, you may require a combination of different types of rehabilitative services. Some of the most common after-surgery rehab programs include:

Physical therapy

After a knee or hip replacement surgery, you’ll need to build up the strength in the muscles surrounding your joint. Through rehab exercises after surgery, mobility training, and therapeutic treatment, a physical therapist can help improve your range of motion and ease pain and swelling.

Occupational therapy

You may find it difficult to perform certain tasks after surgery, such as walking, climbing the stairs, caring for pets, or doing housework. With occupational therapy, you can learn to modify your environment and activities to comfortably return to your everyday life.

Speech therapy

Surgery of the head or neck can significantly impact your ability to communicate. Intensive speech and language therapy sessions can help to resolve issues with speech, cognition, voice, and swallowing.

Pulmonary rehabilitation

For patients who’ve undergone lung surgery, pulmonary rehabilitation is often necessary to recover lung function and improve breathing. With the help of respiratory therapists, you can learn breathing strategies and exercise modifications to build endurance and increase oxygen levels in your blood.

Benefits of Short-Term Rehab After Surgery

One of the biggest mistakes you can make after surgery is to push yourself too far, too fast. To ensure a complete recovery in a safe and supportive environment, many older adults choose to pursue treatment in after surgery rehab centers.
There are many advantages to staying in a residential health center during your post-surgery period, such as:

Decreased risk of injury

Staying in a comfortable and nurturing environment with a full staff of health and wellness providers enables you to take it easy, while others take care of your needs. Without worrying about the minutiae of daily living, you’re less likely to push yourself beyond your limits, thereby reducing your risk of injury, and potentially speeding up your recovery.

Round-the-clock care 

After surgery, you may experience pain or infection, or may need someone to tend to your wounds. In short-term rehab, registered nurses are available to monitor symptoms, administer medication, and address your health concerns, 24 hours a day.

Emotional support

Undergoing a major surgery can be both mentally and emotionally draining. After-surgery rehab centers employ psychiatrists and counselors who can help you work through this difficult time.

Meal preparation

Without proper food and fluids, your body won’t have the fuel it needs to heal. At a residential rehab center, delicious food is prepared in conjunction with a registered dietician to ensure you’re staying adequately hydrated and eating a nutritious diet. 

Bella Vista Health offers post-surgery rehab

If you or a loved one is scheduled to undergo surgery in San Diego, consider spending your recovery period at Bella Vista Health Center. As a 5-star skilled nursing facility, we offer both long-term and short-term rehabilitative services, and our team will customize a treatment plan to meet your specific post-surgery needs.

Call us at (619) 644-1000 and let us help ease your transition from hospital to home and optimize your wellness so you can get back to doing the things you love.