The recommendations that follow are intended as a general guide to you at home.

    • Pain Control

    It is common to have discomfort after surgery. You may have discomfort from the incision and muscle aches. Getting up and moving around can ease some of the discomfort. Take your pain medicine as ordered. Some medicine may upset an empty stomach. To prevent nausea, you should take the medicine with food.

    Some of your pain medicine may contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if you take too much. Do not take more than 3000mg in 24 hours. If you are taking narcotic pain medication or sleeping medication, do not drink any alcohol. You should not drive any vehicles while taking narcotics.

    • Constipation

    It is common to not have a bowel movement for several days after surgery. Some pain medications can also cause constipation. To help your bowels stay regular:

    ◦ Drink more liquids

    ◦ Eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables

    ◦ Get regular exercise(a 15-minute walk is a good start)

    ◦ Take stool softeners

    • Activity

    The most important thing is to use good common sense in planning your activities. If it hurts, do not do it. Do not do anything to the point of exhaustion. Rest if you get tired. After minimally invasive procedures (such as laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, vaginal surgeries, and robotic procedures), you should be up and moving about freely soon after the surgery. Gradually increase your activities as follows:

    ◦ You are allowed to climb stairs, but try not to become too tired.

    ◦ Avoid heavy lifting, not more than a 4 liter bottle of water.

    ◦ Avoid strenuous exercise or sports for 6 weeks after major surgery.

    ◦ You should not drive for 24 hours after receiving general anesthesia. After that, do not drive until you can do so without discomfort and without using prescription pain medicine. This can take from 3 to 7 days.

    ◦ You may shower and wash your hair.

    ◦ No intercourse, douching, or tampons for at least 2 weeks. You may be restricted longer (6 weeks or more) if you had vaginal surgery or a hysterectomy.

    • Caring for Your Incision

    It is important to keep your incision clean and dry to prevent infection. Leave any covering over the incision in place for a week unless otherwise instructed. Call immediately if a large amount of fluid starts to drain or redness develops. You should wear comfortable clothing. Do not wear soiled or tight clothing over the wound. If you have paper strips of tape (Steri-Strips®) on the skin over your incision, leave them on until they fall off. These may offer extra support as your incision heals.

    Once home, you may shower and care for the incision as follows:

    ◦ Always wash your hands before and after touching your incision.

    ◦ Soapy water can run over the incision.

    ◦ Rinse well.

    ◦ Pat the incision dry with a clean towel, rather than rubbing.

    You may use a hair dryer on low heat to dry your incisions.

    ◦ Do not soak the incisions in a tub until you are told you may do so.

    ◦ Starting on the 4th day following surgery, restart washing the incision with CHG every day for 2 weeks unless instructed otherwise by your surgeon.

    ◦ Do not use lotions, cream or ointments on the wound unless they have been ordered by your doctor.

    • Diet

    You may eat and drink as tolerated. Go easy at first, with clear liquids, soup or broth, and crackers, before you progress to solid food. Eat foods that are easy to digest while avoiding fatty foods until your digestion returns to normal. Increase fiber and fluids if you get constipated.

    • Follow-up Visit

    Please plan to return for a postoperative check 1 to 2 weeks after your procedure. If an appointment has not been made for you, call your doctor’s office to be scheduled.

    When to Call Your Doctor

    Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:

    • Temperature over 38 ℃ (100.2℉), chills or sweats

    • Drainage or fluid from the incision that continues or is foul-smelling

    • Increased tenderness or soreness at the wound

    • Wound edges that are no longer together

    • Redness or swelling at the wound site

    • Vaginal bleeding heavier than a period or foul-smelling discharge

    • Difficulty urinating or urinary frequency, urgency, or burning

    • Worsening pain

    • Chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness

    • Pain in the calves or legs

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Unable to drink fluids or keep fluids down

    • If any symptom is getting worse with time

    • If you do not feel well, or just aren’t sure whether your symptoms are normal



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