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Patient Role in Recovery

Whether you’ve had a minor procedure or a major reconstructive surgery at an Atlantic Health System location, you play a vital role in the recovery process. Properly managing pain and nausea, clearing your airways, exercising and eating right are all important steps that will get you back to your daily life faster.

Pain Management

Pain can interfere with your recovery, so it’s important that it be kept at a tolerable level. Inform your care team where, when and how much it hurts. We use a 0-to-10-point scale (0 being no pain and 10 the worst pain you’ve experience) to help us assess how much pain you are experiencing and how well medications or other techniques are working at managing it.


It is common for patients to feel nauseous from some of the medications used while in surgery. Let your nurse know as soon as you feel even the slightest amount of queasiness, and he or she will give you medication to ease the symptoms.

Coughing and deep breathing

Clearing your lungs and can prevent serious respiratory illnesses, like pneumonia. You may be given a breathing tool called an incentive spirometer, which will help you take deep breaths. When coughing, be sure to splint the surgical area with your pillow, if possible.

Movement and exercise

Turning your body and moving your legs and arms (when your surgeon gives you permission) will aid in blood flow and bodily functions. A member of our staff will instruct you on these simple exercises.

Healthy eating

Your need nutrition to heal, but surgery puts an extra strain on your body and may slow digestion. When your surgeon gives you permission to start eating, our staff will help you slowly ease back into a normal diet.


Morristown Medical Center

111 Madison Avenue – Morristown

Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion

Overlook Medical Center

Newton Medical Center

Chilton Medical Center

Hackettstown Medical Center