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Post operative swelling management


After an operative procedure, swelling of the operated area is common. The swelling can bring about pain and discomfort, limiting your ability to move around.

What causes the swelling?

  • Swelling is a result of the accumulation of excessive tissue fluids, which is a common sight after surgery. During the operation, small blood vessels are damaged thus leading to the accumulation of body fluid into the tissues. The natural inflammatory process occurs at the areas where the tissues or muscles have been interrupted by the surgical procedure, thereby causing the swelling.

What can I do to reduce the swelling?

The swelling can be reduced through a few ways :

  • R: Rest. Take relative rests during the day
  • I: Ice. Apply an ice pack over the swollen area (also known as cryotherapy)
  • C: Compression. Apply compression over the area with bandage or tubigrip. You may approach the physiotherapist for help in this area.
  • E: Elevation. Elevate your operated leg to decrease the flow of blood to that area by removing it from a gravity dependent position.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I look out for?

  • If you notice that swelling is not improving and increasingly painful with the cryotherapy and pain medication, and/or you are suffering from a fever, seek help immediately.
- Last updated 5 Jul 2010,12:29 pm

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