ROUTINE POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS

What to expect after surgery:

 

  • You need to go straight home after the procedure is performed and you are discharged  from the hospital.

  • You may resume light duty tomorrow.

  • No heavy lifting greater than 25 lbs for 2-6 weeks.

  • Upon discharge, you will be able to tolerate regular diet.

    • (Your surgeon will advise specifics.)

    • (You may be given more specific dietary instructions upon discharge by your surgeon.)

  •  You may shower the day after surgery.

  • No baths for 2 weeks.

  • You may drive when you are not on narcotics and able to slam on the brakes without hesitation.

  • You may wish to try this in your driveway to simulate a sudden traffic stop.

  • It is our practice not to call in narcotics after 5pm or on weekends. So, please make plans accordingly.

  • You will get ample narcotics upon discharge.

  • Should you need further narcotics please call the office to return earlier for follow up.

  • Bowel movements every day or every other day should be expected but, constipation can be frequent.

  •  You may use 

    •  MiraLax 17 grams by mouth daily or twice a day to stimulate bowel movements,

    •  milk of magnesia 30 cc by mouth every 4 hours as an alternative, 

    •  and/or Dulcolax suppository twice a day may stimulate desired effect.

  • You will have small band-aid like dressings. Try to keep these in place until day 2 or 3. 

  • However, if they fall off it is okay and no further treatment is required.

  • They usually will fall off on their own within 5-7 days. If they are bothersome you may peel them off after day 2.

  • You should have a post-op follow up appointment after discharge. This is usually for 1-2 weeks. If you do not have one please call the office to arrange one at 256-386-1125.

  • Some bleeding (oozing) may be normal.

  • If present, hold pressure for approximately 10-15 minutes over site and usually this will take care of troublesome bleeding.

  • You should return earlier or call the office/on call surgeon if:

  • Increased pain at incision not relieved by medication but, not so troublesome that an ER visit is warranted.

  • Increased drainage from incision or foul smelling purulent drainage is noted.

  • Fever greater than 100.5.

  • Nausea or vomiting.

  • Constipation not relieved by MiraLax, milk of magnesia, or Dulcolax for greater than 2-3 

  • Slight increase in abdominal pain or distention.

  • You should report to the ER immediately if:

    • Shortness of breath or chest pain.

    • Fever greater than 101 without response to antipyretics (Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.)

    • Intractable nausea and vomiting with inability to hold down liquids.

    • Hypotension, dizziness, excessive fatigue, worsening abdominal pain despite adequate pain medication.

    • Bleeding not controlled with direct pressure or substantial bleeding.