AFTER CARE & POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS
After surgery you will be given specific instructions. The following are very basic orders that you would need.
Take medication for pain as directed by the label on the prescription bottle. Pain pills should be taken with food as they can cause nausea. Drink and eat plenty of fluids and fruits to help avoid constipation. Plan ahead, as pain prescriptions are not refilled after hours or on weekends.
Do not drink alcohol, drive a vehicle, and sign a legal document for the first 24 hours post-surgery due to the anaesthesia received during surgery.
On the day of discharge a physiotherapist will visit you in the ward. She will explain the do’s and don’ts related to your surgery.
You can use ice to control swelling. Apply ice for 20 minutes each hour.
Do not remove dressing unless specifically instructed to do so by your surgeon. Keep it clean and dry. The original dressings need to remain in place at least the first 48 hours. Some bleeding is to be expected from the surgical incision. Dressings can be changed but only saline water is allowed for cleaning of the wound. The wound should stay dressed for two weeks until the stitches/staples are removed.
Begin with clear liquids and eat a light diet after surgery. Avoid spicy, hot or gaseous foods (such as pizza and chili), as they may increase chances for nausea. Drink a minimum of two litres water daily.
Call your surgeon’s office if any of the following occur:
- Temperature by mouth over 38 degrees
- Pain not relieved after taking medication as directed
- Rash, itching or other adverse reaction after taking pain medication
- Continued nausea or vomiting
- Redness or extreme swelling around operative area
- Any discharge from the wound (there will be some bleeding)
- Any other urgent concern