Post Op Instructions
Below are listed some general instructions concerning your recovery from surgery.
You will require rest for the first day, with full activity resuming within 2 to 4 days. Be sensible and increase your activities as you feel better and better.
You may be nauseated on the day of surgery, so liquids and bland food may suit you best once you get home, until your nausea improves. After that, you may resume your normal diet.
You may take a shower and wash your hair when desired; baths are acceptable within a few days.
Constipation is best avoided. If you have difficulty, use a mild, over-the-counter laxative such as Senekot, Perdiem, or Milk of Magnesia. Also, be sure to keep your fluid intake up in order to avoid straining to move your bowels. Remember that narcotic pain relievers and inactivity slow bowel function.
You may have sex after any bleeding stops, but not less than 5 days after surgery.
After laparoscopy, D&C, hysteroscopy, and cervical surgery, there is frequently a vaginal discharge and/or spotting that will last up to 2 weeks. This is normal and part of the healing process. If it is more than a normal period, call your doctor for further instructions; otherwise, use a pad rather than a tampon.
Douching is not generally recommended, and never should be done within 4 weeks of surgery.
You will be given a prescription for pain medicine at the time of discharge, or your doctor may have given you one during the office pre-operative visit. Mild to moderate cramping, and shoulder pain (if laparoscopy) may be anticipated, and is best treated with over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin). If needed, the prescribed pain medicine may be necessary.
Most people experience some emotional “ups and downs” following surgery. These are the effects of both a general anesthetic, as well as the stress to the body from surgery. If you feel like crying for no reason at all, please understand that this is a normal phenomenon.
Your period may come when it normally is due, especially if you are on the birth control pill. Alternatively, for women not on the pill, the first period after surgery may be delayed up to 4 to 6 weeks. If your surgery was pregnancy related, the first period is usually 4 to 6 weeks from the surgery. For all women, the first period after surgery may be heavier and/or more painful.
Many times, the doctor will cover the incisions with small pieces of tape called steri-strips. They are waterproof, and for the most part, can be ignored. However, they may begin to curl up at the ends or drop off within a few days. They can be removed when that happens, or 4 to 7 days after surgery. Generally, any stitches are underneath the skin, and dissolve, and do not need removal.
You may return to work when physically able, generally within 2 to 7 days, depending on the nature and extent of your surgery.
Please call the office to schedule a post-operative visit if you have not already done so.
Please continue your current method of birth control. If you are on the pill, continue taking it as before surgery. If you are going onto the pill after surgery, your doctor will tell you when and how to start it. If you had a tubal ligation (tubes tied), it is effective immediately, and you do not need other birth control. However, those women on the pill may wish to finish the cycle so that menstruation won’t be irregular.
PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE FOR:
- Fever over 100.4°
- Severe lower abdominal pain
- Heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding
- Redness or swelling of an incision
- Severe chest pains
- Frequency or burning with urination
- Swelling or redness of the legs
- Any other concerns