Patients who undergo medical surgery have to take proper care of themselves afterward. Minnesota doctors and surgeons bear a great responsibility when it comes to avoiding surgical errors and postoperative pain, as noted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, but patients have to do their part, too.

Planning for recovery in the days leading up to surgery can be of great help, notes WebMD. A few tips can go a long way in turning a home into a healing haven.

Ask about changes to a home

Extreme operations, such as stomach or joint replacement surgery, may call for a shift in the patient’s living situation. For example, climbing stairs may be out of the question, which could require the patient to bring her or his bed, entertainment and the like downstairs. Some patients have to use oxygen tanks or a special shower seat while recovering.

Avoid falling risks

Patients have to be careful not to injure themselves while on the mend. They may need to wear different shoes, get rid of tripping hazards in their home or use a walking assist, such as crutches. Extra lighting also helps patients avoid unnecessary trips and falls.

Ask about getting back to regular day-to-day life

Patients should let their doctor know what a regular week looks like for them. That way, they can learn when they can get back to driving, exercising, working, sitting and traveling after surgery. Anesthesia and postoperative medication can also impact overall performance, so patients should ask their surgeon, doctor and pharmacist about any harmful side effects to look out for.

Asking about expected complications after surgery allows patients to take better care of themselves. A few simple questions can help pave the way to a full recovery.