The Rapid Recovery Handbook: Your Complete Guide to Faster Healing After Surgery

The Rapid Recovery Handbook: Your Complete Guide to Faster Healing After Surgery


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The ultimate guide to maximizing the body's ability to heal for anyone who is planning for or recovering from surgery, injury or pregnancy.

By understanding the body's marvelous ability to repair and rebuild itself, we can prepare and fine–tune our bodies to optimize our healing potential post surgery. THE RAPID RECOVERY HANDBOOK will provide an understanding of the healing process and the essential tools to make sure self–healing mechanisms are in top working order, covering every repair–related detail a patient needs to know from the planning–for–surgery period through the late stages of recovery at home. Written for a variety of patients dealing with a wide scope of surgeries and injuries, THE RAPID RECOVERY HANDBOOK reveals three practical factors that account for the individualized nature of recovery: nutrition and botanical support (the primary way to prepare for surgery and to enhance healing from injury), physical support (including such beneficial therapies as massage, acupuncture, Reiki, hydrotherapy and others) and mind–body support (including hypnosis and mindful breathing to address the stress response). Complete with a foreword by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the book also has several appendices for lay and science–savvy readers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060748258
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/19/2006
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.38(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth G. Motyka, MD, is an obstetrician and gynecologist focusing on conscious wellness and the use of alternative therapies in recovering from surgery.

Thomas M. Motyka, DO, is a clinician, researcher, educator, and nationally known speaker in the area of integrative health and osteopathic medicine.

Mark Nathaniel Mead, MSc, is a nutrition educator, consultant, and writer who has contributed to Natural Health, Utne Reader, American Health, Integrative Cancer Therapies, and many other publications.

Read an Excerpt

The Rapid Recovery Handbook

Your Complete Guide to Faster Healing After Surgery
By Elizabeth Motyka

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Motyka
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060748257

Chapter One

At the Cutting Edge of Surgical Care

. . . and not until the wound heals
and the scar disappears,
do we begin to discover where we are,
and that nature is
one and continuous everywhere.
--Henry David Thoreau

Why do some people seem to recover so much faster than others who have the same surgery under the same circumstances? How much does your own state of health influence the healing process postsurgery, and what can you do to make sure that your recovery unfolds as smoothly and rapidly as possible?

Some of what affects how tissues heal has to do with the surgery itself--specifically, the type of procedure, the surgical technique, the operating room environment, and most of all your surgeon's level of expertise. Those factors largely depend on your surgical team, though, as we'll see in chapter 5, you can request various environmental conditions to be in place during your operation. But there's much more to it than that. A number of practical steps can be taken before, during, and after the procedure to increase your self-healing ability. Among the starting points are some simple lifestyle choices,including the kinds of foods you eat and the dietary supplements you use before and after the operation.

All too often, the importance of nutrition has received short shrift in mainstream medical practice, though there are signs of change on the horizon. In a report titled "Fit for Surgery," published in the December 2004 issue of Surgeon, experts from six European countries and the United States addressed the issue of how best to prepare patients for surgery. Malnutrition was placed at the top of the list of factors that can impede recovery after surgery. "Malnutrition is common among hospitalized patients and in the community, while patients' nutritional status often declines during hospital stay," the report stated. "Both malnutrition and weight loss are associated with alterations in cellular physiology and organ function, which are of importance for the surgical patient. Preoperative malnutrition compromises surgical outcome while preoperative weight loss can lead to increased postoperative morbidity and mortality." The report went on to note that nutritional assessments are rarely done on people facing surgery, despite the fact that malnutrition is common among hospitalized patients. Moreover, the authors noted: "In order to ensure that patients undergoing elective procedures are 'fit for surgery,' all members of the multidisciplinary team should understand that adequate nutrition contributes to a successful surgical outcome."1

Of course, making sure that you have sufficient or adequate nutrition to handle the rigors of surgery is key. In The Rapid Recovery Handbook, however, we're more interested in optimum nutrition than in adequate nutrition. We will teach you about the best possible combinations of foods, nutrients, and nutriceuticals (including herbal supplements), for maximizing your healing potential. To reinforce and enhance the impact of this nutrition, we'll explore mind-body techniques, therapeutic exercise, physical manipulation, energy medicine, and other easily accessible, noninvasive tools that have been shown to support optimal wound repair. These considerations, as you will learn, can be of tremendous benefit. They will enable you to go through surgery with greater ease and comfort, and to recover as fast as is humanly possible after your operation.

The Many Flavors and Challenges of Surgery

Surgery is the medical specialty that treats diseases or injuries through operations or what physicians refer to as "procedures." Many surgeries are aimed at removing or repairing a part of the body, or at establishing whether a disease is present. Surgery can also involve transplantation of organs, tissues, or cells from one site to another within the same individual, or from one patient to another of the same species or even of different species. Other surgeries focus on problems that develop in the bones, joints, and ligaments of the human body. Still others are performed in order to repair or restore body parts to look normal, or to change a body part to look better. And the list goes on.

Many surgeries are either lifesaving or at least potentially lifesaving procedures. Consider, for example, the removal of a large tumor that is impinging on a vital organ. Curative surgery is regarded as the primary treatment for most cancers. Today, more-conservative (less-invasive) surgeries are aimed at removing tumors while preserving as much normal tissue and function as possible. These sophisticated procedures offer the greatest chance for cure for common cancers like those of the breast, prostate, and colon--as long as the cancer has not yet spread to other parts of the body.

Or consider the miracle of coronary bypass, which involves using a piece of vein or artery to bypass a blockage in a coronary artery in order to prevent heart attacks or to relieve chest pain due to reduced blood flow to heart muscles. For quite some time now, cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States, and today more than 60 percent of cardiovascular-related deaths are linked with coronary artery disease. With the increasing size of the middle-aged and elderly population, more bypass operations will need to be performed on people confronting this disease.

Other examples of major surgery include brain surgery, hysterectomy, mastectomy, joint reconstruction, joint replacement, organ transplants, or bone marrow transplants. Regardless of which type you're facing, it usually promises to be a significant event that can severely tax your body's healing resources. Substantial risks may be involved, and our clinical experience has shown us over and over again that the surgically treated body can greatly benefit from targeted support to help minimize these risks. Major surgery also tends to result in extensive tissue loss as well as a major restructuring of tissue. Your body must be sufficiently healthy to mount an efficient healing response to such damage.

A number of setbacks or complications can occur after major surgery or with a series of operations--setbacks like heart problems and postoperative depression. Other common problems include pain, nausea, decreased bowel and bladder function, lack of mobility, or immune dysfunction . . . .


Excerpted from The Rapid Recovery Handbook by Elizabeth Motyka Copyright © 2006 by Elizabeth Motyka. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Bernie Siegel

“An excellent resource for both the patient and the physician.”

Tracy W. Gaudet

“A powerful and effective resource...the strategies presented here should be integrated into standard care. Until then, buy this book!”

Susan Gaylor

“This innovative guide to enhancing your self-healing potential...exemplifies the benefits of an integrative model of health care.”

Mark W. McClure

“...provides a detailed and reliable roadmap for anyone who has contemplated or embarked on a surgical adventure.”

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