Stress and Surgery
Stress is created when some external force in the environment places demands on an individual that they feel is greater than they can cope with. This perception can have psychological, emotional and physical effects on the human body. In addition to nervousness, moods swings, and/or emotional outbursts, actual physical changes occur when you are under stress.
Your body’s organs increase your cortisol levels when it perceives stress. Cortisol is a natural steroid that is generally a defense against stress; however, it can also decrease your inflammatory response, suppress generation of new tissue and blood vessels, and weaken your immune system. Your inflammatory response is what promotes wound healing and your immune system is what fights infection. Obviously, these are all very important functions in your recovery from surgery. And in fact, researchers have shown that wounds heal more slowly when a person is under stress. Adequate wound healing is so important after surgery, that a delay not only lengthens recovery time, but also increases your risk of infection. Obviously, surgery increases the physical stress on your body and the prospect of surgery may increase your emotional stress. So, what can you do to minimize your stress and overcome the obstacles of a quick and simple recovery?
The Benefits of an Advanced Walk-in Clinic
Peace of Mind
For most people, the prospect of surgery creates at least a little anxiety. So, it’s important that you have a surgeon that you trust, and one that is available to you if you need anything during your recovery period. Most of us have had at least one experience in the healthcare system when we couldn’t get through to our doctor. The system is busy and we can’t schedule when we will be sick ahead of time. This is why walk-in clinics provide such a valuable service to the public. However, in the situation of postoperative recovery, the reassurance that someone is there to address your concerns in a timely manner can greatly reduce your anxiety. Keeping those nerves at bay will keep your cortisol at a reasonable level. Hence, going in knowing that if you are having pain, or if you experience an unexpected symptom, that you have somewhere to turn, will help create the sense of calm that is so important for pain management, adequate healing, prevention of potential complications, and a speedy recovery.
Pain is a very subjective phenomena, and one that can be influenced by the amount of stress you are experiencing. At the same time, the amount of pain you are feeling can affect your stress level. Finally, both stress and pain will have an impact on recovery. We have already seen how stress can delay healing. On the other hand, pain control is essential for rehabilitation and recovery.
If you are experiencing pain, you are less likely to be up and moving around, so the chances of surgical complications rise. Additionally, the work you do in physical or occupational therapy will be hindered if it hurts to move. This is why pain management is an important aspect of recovery from surgery. And this is yet another reason why it is so important to have access to your doctors in the postoperative period. Having an advanced walk in clinic available will allow you to have the tailored pain management plan that you need be right on schedule for a full recovery.
Early Detection and Treatment of Complications
While some level of pain is inevitable after surgery, a higher level of pain can also be a sign that there might be a problem. In fact, increased pain is one of the first signs of infection. Other signs include fever, warmth, swelling, redness, and drainage. Chances are that you will recover from your surgery without problem, but your doctor will give you a list of things you should look for in the postoperative period. If you do experience something that might indicate a problem, early detection and prompt treatment of complications are very important in preventing a protracted recovery period.
If you have surgery, hopefully you will not need the services of an advanced walk in clinic. Ideally you will have an uneventful postoperative course and get back in the swing of things quickly. However, the benefits of knowing that someone is there if you need them gives you a significant advantage over those who do not have immediate access to care. And in the event that you do need the walk in services, you can be assured that you will be getting the best and most timely care available.
If you have any further questions regarding the walk in services we offer, or have any other orthopedic or health concerns that you would like to discuss, please call our friendly staff at Advanced Bone & Joint, at (636) 229-4222 or use our secure online appointment request form. We forward to meeting all of your orthopedic needs.