Post-Op Instructions

Appendectomy

Discharge Instructions for Laparoscopic Appendectomy

You have had your appendix removed laparoscopically. The appendix is a worm-shaped hollow pouch attached to the beginning of your large intestine. During your procedure, the doctor made two to four small incisions. One was near your bellybutton, and the others were elsewhere on your abdomen. Through one incision, the doctor inserted a thin tube with a camera attached (called a laparoscope). Surgical tools were inserted in the other incisions. You may feel discomfort in your shoulder and chest for up to 48 hours after surgery. This is normal. It is caused by carbon dioxide (gas) used during the operation. It will go away.

Activity

  • Resume light activities around your home as soon as possible.
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 15 pounds for 2 weeks.
  • Limit sports and strenuous activities for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • You may walk indoors, outdoors, up and down stairs
  • Shower as usual.
    • Gently wash around your incisions with liquid soap and water.
    • Don’t bathe or soak in a tub until your incisions are well healed.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes. This will help you be more comfortable and cause less irritation around your incisions.
  • Don’t drive until you are no longer taking prescription pain medication.

Diet

  • Eat a bland, low-fat diet for the first few days, and then expand to regular as tolerated.
  • Drink 6 t o8 glasses of water a day, unless directed otherwise.
  • If you are constipated, take a fiber laxative such as Metamucil.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Swelling, oozing, worsening pain or unusual redness around the incision.
  • Fever of 100.5 degrees or higher.
  • Increasing abdominal pain.
  • Severe diarrhea, bloating or constipation, nausea or vomiting.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment for 2 weeks after your surgery if this has not already been done for you.

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Colon Surgery

Discharge Instructions for Colon Surgery

Walk on a regular basis. Start with short walks each day. Gradually increase the distance you walk and how often you walk.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 15 pounds for the first 6 weeks after your surgery.
  • Don’t drive for 2 weeks after surgery. Don’t drive while you are taking prescription pain medication.
  • Ask your doctor when you can expect to return to work. Most patients are able to return to work within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
  • Diarrhea or loose stools are common for the first week or two after surgery, but if you have watery diarrhea, call your surgeon. This may be a sign of a bowel infection.
  • Follow the Modified Fiber diet prescribed for you in the hospital. Slowly add foods until you get back to your regular diet. If a food gives you stomach or bowel problems, avoid it for a while.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, unless directed otherwise. Remember, if you have an ostomy you need to drink more than what comes out to keep from getting dehydrated.
  • You may walk indoors, outdoors, up and down stairs.
  • Shower as needed. Gently wash your incision with liquid soap and water and pat dry.
  • Avoid tub baths until the staples in your incision have been removed.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Fever above 101.5°F
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days
  • Nausea and vomiting that won’t go away
  • Pain in your abdomen that gets worse or isn’t relieved by pain medication
  • Drainage or redness around your incision

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment for 2 weeks after your surgery if this has not already been made for you.

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Hemorrhoidectomy

A mild diet the day of surgery is recommended. Advance your diet as tolerated.

Constipation is to be expected while on narcotic pain medications. Most patients DO NOT have their first bowel movement until at least 3 days after surgery. This is often painful. While utilizing narcotics you should remain on an over the counter stool softener such as Colace or Docusate (one tablet twice daily). Fiber supplementation with Metamucil or Citrucel (one tablespoon with eight ounces of water) is also recommended daily. For severe constipation, Milk of Magnesia (30ml) can be helpful taken up to twice daily.

Pain is to be expected after hemorrhoid surgery. Make sure to utilize the prescribed narcotic pain medication as recommended. Do not get behind on your pain medications. Catching up is often difficult. If no sensitivity to anti-inflammatory medications or ulcer history exists then Ibuprofen (400mg-600mg) every six hours is an excellent alternative in addition to or as a substitute to your narcotic.

Rectal bleeding or drainage is normal after hemorrhoid surgery. Utilize a sanitary napkin to collect any discharge. If the pad becomes soaked with bright red blood or if you experience fever or chills, please call the office.

Nausea is a common complaint post-op. This can be associated with narcotic medications, general anesthesia, as well as with severe constipation. Try to minimize your narcotic medications as soon as possible. If vomiting, fever or chills occur, please call our office.

Driving may be resumed when off all narcotic pain medications and you can turn or twist your body without hesitation.

Urinary retention is a common problem after hemorrhoid surgery. If you are unable to urinate within eight hours after surgery or if you feel uncomfortable prior, please call our office.

Frequent tub soaks or warm showers are often soothing. After bowel movements, you may want to wash in a tub or shower with warm water. Avoid soap to minimize added rectal irritation.

No strenuous activity (i.e., running, jogging, swimming or weight lifting) for one week after surgery.

Schedule a post-operative visit with our office within 7-14 days after surgery unless this has already been done.

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Breast Biopsy

Wound Care

The incision is covered with a clear plastic dressing with a white pad underneath it. This is waterproof and you can shower with it on. Remove it in 2-3 days and you can continue to shower. There may be some blood spotting on the white pad. This is normal. If there are steri-strips (small strips of tape) on your incision leave these on. If they fall off it’s OK. Your wound is closed with sutures under the skin that will dissolve. If you have staples we will remove these in the office later and it does not hurt. Your incision will be sore and firm. This is normal wound healing. It will begin to soften in 3-4 weeks. You may apply an icepack to the incision during the first 24 hours after surgery. You do not need to apply Neosporin to the incision but can if you wish.

Activity

You should do no running or heavy exercise for several days. Other activities are fine as your soreness allows.

Diet (This does not apply if you are having a Stereotactic Biopsy)

After you recover from the anesthesia you can resume your normal diet. The first meal or two after surgery should be light and bland, such as a baked potato or soup.

Medications

You can resume your normal medications after surgery unless you are told not to. You will get a prescription for pain medicine. Get your prescription filled at your normal pharmacy and call our office if you have any problems with it.

Biopsy results

We will call you as soon as your pathology results are available, usually within 5 working days.

Follow-up

You will need to call the office to arrange a follow-up visit, if one has not already been made for you. We normally see patients back in 7-14 days but will see you sooner if you have a problem.

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Gallbladder Surgery

Wound Care

The incisions are covered with a clear plastic dressing with a white pad underneath it. This is waterproof and you can shower with it on. Remove it in 2-3 days and you can continue to shower. There may be some blood spotting on the white pad. This is normal. If there are steri-strips (small strips of tape) on your incisions leave these on. If they fall off it’s OK. Your wound is closed with sutures under the skin that will dissolve. If you have staples we will remove these in the office later and it does not hurt. Your incisions will be sore and firm. This is normal wound healing. They will begin to soften in 3-4 weeks. You may apply and ice pack to the incisions during the first 24 hours after surgery. You do not need to apply Neosporin to the incisions but can if you wish.

Activity

You should do no lifting over about 30 lbs for one week. After that you can gradually increase lifting as your soreness allows. You can drive a car as soon as you are comfortable, usually in 3-4 days. You can walk and do other activities as your soreness allows.

Diet

After you recover from the anesthesia you can resume your normal diet. The first meal or two after surgery should be light and bland, such as a baked potato or soup.

Medications

You can resume your normal medications after surgery unless you are told not to. You will get a prescription for pain medicine. Get your prescription filled at your normal pharmacy and call our office if you have any problems with it.

Follow-up

You will need to call the office to arrange a follow-up visit, if one has not already been made for you. We normally see patients back in 7-14 days but will see you sooner if you have a problem.

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Hernia Surgery

Wound Care

The incision is covered with a clear plastic dressing with a white pad underneath it. This is waterproof and you can shower with it on. Remove it in 2-3 days and you can continue to shower. There may be some blood spotting on the white pad. This is normal. If there are steri-strips (small strips of tape) on your incision leave these on. If they fall off it’s OK. Your wound is closed with sutures under the skin that will dissolve. If you have staples we will remove these in the office later and it does not hurt. Your incision will be sore and firm. This is normal wound healing. It will begin to soften in 3-4 weeks. You may apply an icepack to the incision during the first 24 hours after surgery. You do not need to apply Neosporin to the incision but can if you wish.

Activity

You should do no lifting over about 30 lbs for one week. After that you can gradually increase lifting as your soreness allows. You can drive a car as soon as you are comfortable, usually in 3-4 days. You can walk and do other activities as your soreness allows.

Diet

After you recover from the anesthesia you can resume your normal diet. The first meal or two after surgery should be light and bland, such as a baked potato or soup.

Medications

You can resume your normal medications after surgery unless you are told not to. You will get a prescription for pain medicine. Get your prescription filled at your normal pharmacy and call our office if you have any problems with it.

Follow-up

You will need to call the office to arrange a follow-up visit, if one has not already been made for you. We normally see patients back in 7-14 days but will see you sooner if you have a problem.

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Pilonidal Cystectomy

You have had a pilonidal cyst removed. Prior to surgery you were quoted a 50/50 chance of initial wound healing. If your incision opens which happens 50% of the time you will need to pack your incision for two to three weeks after surgery.

Activity After Surgery

  • After surgery, take it easy for the rest of the day.
  • Don’t drive while you are still taking narcotic pain medication and don’t drive for at least 2 weeks after the operation.
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 15 pounds until your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Don’t mow the lawn, use a vacuum cleaner, or do other strenuous activities until your doctor says it’s okay.
  • You may walk indoors, outdoors, up and down stairs.
  • Avoid constipation:
    • Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
    • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, unless otherwise instructed.
    • Use a laxative or a mild stool softener if your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Sexual activity as tolerated. If it starts to hurt – stop.

Bandage and Incision Care

  • Remove any gauze bandage in 48 hours – you may replace a dressing if there is any drainage noted.
  • You will have sutures in place.
  • You may shower in 48 hours.
  • Wash your incision with liquid soap and water. Pat it dry. Don’t use oils, powders or lotions on your incision.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Bleeding.
  • Increasing Pain.
  • Increased redness or drainage of the incision.
  • Fever 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Follow-Up

Please make a follow-up appointment for two weeks after your surgery if this has not already been done for you.

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