V-line surgery – Recovery Q&A
Last updated date: 17-Jul-2021
3 mins read
Many patients share their concern about various topics related to recovery after V-line surgery. We curated the most frequently asked questions to help you with the recovery process.
Q: What types of foods should I avoid after surgery? What should I eat to heal faster?
A: Salty, greasy, spicy foods should be avoided for a month. Chewy food should be avoided for at least a month, but three months is better to allow the bones to heal well. Eat a healthy diet comprising good protein sources, adequate vitamins, and minerals to nourish your body. Avoid excessive sugar, caffeine, trans-fats, artificial additives, and preservatives.
Q: How long does the swelling and numbness last for?
A: The numbness is one of the symptoms of surgery which improve with time. Once the nerves in the face heal, the sensation will start to return. It can take from 6 months to a year for the numbness to dissipate. Even though the swelling should be gone by the 6 months mark, it may take longer for some to heal, up to 12 months. Also note, the swelling will reduce asymmetrically so do not panic and wait until it has reduced completely before assuming something went wrong with the surgery.
Q: What type of post-surgery care will I have to do on my own?
A: Post-surgery self-care is explained by a translator before getting discharged. You cannot brush your teeth, but have to maintain your oral health, so a gargle/mouthwash is provided for daily use. You also have to take the prescription medication as advised. The rest of the post-surgery care is taken care of by the hospital staff when you come for your check-up appointments.
Q: What type of exercise is allowed after surgery?
A: Exercise improves your health. Increasing your blood circulation will boost your immunity thereby making you heal fast. For one month after surgery, you cannot do any intensive exercise but, light walking will help reduce the swelling.
Q: When are the stitches removed after surgery?
A: Stitches are removed 14 days post-surgery.
Q: How long is the full recovery for V-line surgery?
A: It differs from person to person. In general, a healthy person should heal faster, and the major swelling goes down within 3-6 months but the minor swelling may take longer.
Q: Why should I stop drinking and smoking for a month after surgery?
A: With smoking, Chances of Tissue necrosis, fat necrosis and infection are all increased. With less oxygen, the wound will take longer to heal, producing more prominent scars that will not heal well.
Alcohol dilates the blood vessels just like smoking can, which in turn will cause dehydration. Being dehydrated will slow down the healing process. Dehydration can make the healing process quite uncomfortable, so it is another reason to avoid alcohol.
Smoking and alcohol increase the risk of getting infections. They also weaken the immune system so healing time will be longer. Avoiding smoking and drinking for up to three months is the best. If not possible, then at least one month after surgery is recommended.
Q: Is it safer to have the pins removed or is it safer to keep the pins as is?
A: The pin can be kept in its place if there are no problems. Although the material of the pin is titanium which is bio-inert (inactive and safe inside the human body), it is a foreign body material and has little potential to cause foreign body reaction in the long run.