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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

Healing After You Have Rotator Cuff Surgery

by Francisco Arnold

If you are going to have rotator cuff surgery, then you want to know what it is that you can expect as far as the recovery goes. Here is helpful information with regards to many of the things that you can expect, as well as advice on things that you can do to help you throughout the recovery period.

How long recovery will take

Rotator cuff recovery is not a fast thing for you to go through. This is due to the inner workings of the rotator cuff since it is a complex joint. In fact, you can expect for the majority of your recovery to take about six months. However, in order for you to be 100% recovered from the surgery, you may be looking at a year. You need to be careful in the first year following surgery because you are going to be more prone to re-injuring your rotator cuff.

Caring for your rotator cuff following surgery

You are going to need to really take it easy after surgery, and you need to be sure that you take great care of your shoulder. The area will need to be kept clean and dry. As soon as you get the okay, you can begin to clean the surgical site extremely careful.

Your arm is going to be in a sling. You want to be sure you keep the sling on per your doctor's instructions and don't start going without the sling sooner than recommended, or you may re-injure your rotator cuff.

You should be putting ice on your shoulder to get some relief from the pain. Never put the ice directly on your skin, or you can end up with painful ice burn. It should be put in a towel for skin protection.

Types of assistance you are going to need

In the beginning of your recovery from surgery, you are going to need a lot of help with many things. Some examples of the types of things that you are going to need help with include personal hygiene like cleaning and shaving, preparing meals, driving, and taking care of household chores.

Things that you want to watch out for following your surgery

There are some specific things that you are going to want to make sure you watch out for and call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following issues while you are recovering from your surgery:

An increase in the pain – If you start to experience more pain as time goes on, then this indicates you may have a serious problem going on, and you should be seen by your doctor.

Swelling and/or redness around the surgical site – After you have surgery, any post-op swelling that you have should go down, not get worse. Also, redness around the site can indicate that there is an infection setting in which needs to be addressed immediately, so you can be put on stronger antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Also, not all doctors will put you on antibiotics as a precaution, and if this is true in your case, then you will be put on them for the first time when signs of infection appear.

Fever, fatigue, and body aches – Some of the other signs that you may have an infection include a fever, a feeling of fatigue that is not related to pain medication, and body aches that can feel similar to the aches you may experience when you are sick with something like the flu.

No improvement – If you are not slowly starting to feel as if you are getting through the healing process the way you should, then you want to report this to your doctor to make sure that there isn't a problem that is causing you to heal slower than you might expect to heal.

For more information, contact a professional like Christopher C. Schmidt, M.D.