A Service Users Experience of Physiotherapy Ahead of Elective Surgery and the Beneficial Impact on Their Recovery

1/22/20242 min read

a woman sitting on a bed with her legs crossed
a woman sitting on a bed with her legs crossed

Undergoing elective surgery can be a daunting experience, filled with uncertainty and apprehension. As someone who recently went through this process, I can confidently say that physiotherapy played a crucial role in my pre-surgical preparation and post-operative recovery.

Pre-Surgical Preparation

Before my elective surgery, my healthcare team recommended that I engage in physiotherapy sessions to optimize my physical condition. The aim was to strengthen and prepare my body for the upcoming procedure, ensuring that I had the best possible chance of a successful outcome.

During my initial physiotherapy assessment, the therapist took the time to understand my medical history, current fitness level, and any specific concerns I had about the surgery. This personalized approach helped me feel more confident and reassured about the process.

The physiotherapist then designed a tailored exercise program that focused on improving my strength, flexibility, and overall physical fitness. This program included a combination of stretching, strengthening exercises, and cardiovascular activities. The therapist also provided guidance on proper body mechanics and breathing techniques, which would prove invaluable during the recovery phase.

Post-Operative Recovery

Following my surgery, I transitioned into the post-operative phase, where physiotherapy played a pivotal role in my recovery. The immediate goal was to manage pain, reduce swelling, and prevent complications such as blood clots, chest infections or muscle stiffness.

My physiotherapists on the ward, employed various techniques to achieve these objectives. Exercises , mobilization and Ice therapy, helped to alleviate pain, promote circulation and allowed me to mobilise as safely as possible. Additionally, specific exercises were introduced to gradually restore my range of motion, strengthen my muscles and supported me to practice walking up and down a flight of stairs.

As my recovery progressed, I was deemed safe to return home within 4 days of surgery.

The Benefits of Physiotherapy

My Physiotherapist proved to be immensely beneficial to my recovery process. Here are some key advantages I experienced:

  1. Improved mobility: Physiotherapy helped me regain my mobility faster, allowing me to perform daily activities with greater ease.

  2. Pain management: The combination of manual therapy and targeted exercises significantly reduced my post-operative pain, enabling me to rely less on pain medication.

  3. Prevention of complications: Physiotherapy techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and early mobilization, helped prevent complications such as pneumonia and blood clots.

  4. Enhanced mental well-being: The guidance and support provided by my physiotherapist were instrumental in boosting my confidence and overall mental well-being throughout the recovery process.

My experience with physiotherapy ahead of my elective surgery was undeniably beneficial. The personalized pre-surgical approach and comprehensive post-operative care helped me regain my independence, manage my pain effectively, and achieve a smoother recovery.

I am grateful for the expertise and dedication of my physiotherapist, as they played a vital role in my successful rehabilitation journey.