What is the recovery process like after surgery?

Some surgeries, such as a knee replacement, require physical therapy while other patients, such as those undergoing TURP, may be discharged with instructions to “take it easy.” Pain after surgery is a good indication of whether or not the patient is trying to do too much. Pain should be manageable with the prescribed pain medication. After you are discharged from the hospital, you may be transferred to a nursing facility or visited in your home by an at-home nurse to check on your condition. If you are prescribed physical therapy, Mass General Brigham offers many options with a range of intensity. You may be visited by an at-home physical therapist before moving to an outpatient clinic. If you need more intensive care, you may be referred to our rehab hospital Spaulding. You may also be encouraged to do exercises or stretches on their own either in between appointments or after their appointments have ended. The recovery process will be different for everyone, but doctors will be able to give a more personalized estimation for the time and intensity of the rehab process depending on your health and which procedure you are having.

How do I benefit after my treatment by answering PROMs?

PROMs is used to track your progress after treatment. The questions in PROMs questionnaires systematically track the recovery progress. By looking at these, physicians can ensure that each patient is achieving the expected outcomes. It’s important that we identify patients who aren’t doing as well as we expect so we see if there’s something additional or different that we need to do to improve their outcomes.

How long until I’m back to normal?

“Normal” is different for everyone and it depends on your treatment. Recovery from surgery can take up to a year. Physical therapy is an ongoing process, and even after a long period of time you may not feel like you’re at 100%. However, even if you find you can’t run a marathon you should still see marked improvements in your health — being able to walk up the stairs without a problem, standing for a significant amount of time without being in pain, or being able to sleep through the night. If you feel that your condition is not as good as you hoped or expected, talk to your doctor. There may be additional options like increased physical therapy, different medication, or surgical options that may improve your condition further.

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