Care At Home after Gynaecology Surgery

Thank you for taking the time to read this information regarding your post-operative recovery. After this type of surgery most women do very well and recover smoothly.

Here are a few things to keep in mind after your surgery:

1)     Please ensure that you have a responsible adult stay with you for 24 hours after surgery

2)     For 24 hours after your surgery do not:

  • Drive a vehicle
  • Operate heavy equipment
  • Drink alcohol or smoke
  • Make any important decisions

Each of the following is common and not a worry after surgery:

  • Mild nausea and light-headedness
  • Moderate fatigue and tiredness
  • Slight temperature increase for a day or two
  • Light vaginal bleeding or spotting for several weeks
  • Shoulder or neck pain. This is caused by gas used to inflate your abdomen during surgery. This is normal and will resolve on its own

Incision Care

  • Check your incisions when you get home and if there is excessive bleeding, apply pressure and a clean dressing. If it still doesn’t stop, call your surgeon’s office.
  • It is normal to have some bruising, pink and slight swelling around your incisions. If you have severe pain or your incision is becoming increasingly red you should contact your surgeon’s office
  • If you can comfortably and safely move around, you may shower the day after you get home. Please refrain from bathing for at least 4 weeks from your surgery date. When your dressing is wet you can easily remove it and replace it with a new dressing.
  • The sutures are self-dissolving and will not need to be removed.
  • Staples need to be removed 5-7 days after the surgery. Please arrange this through your surgeon’s office. Sutures will dissolve naturally and do not need to be removed.
  • An ice pack applied to the incisions may help with pain and swelling.

Pain and Medication

  • For pain, please take Advil 600 mg together with Tylenol 650 mg every 4 hours with food. This regimen provides good pain relief for almost all patients having this type of surgery. If you find that you need something stronger please contact your surgeon directly to let them know.
  • Please take all your regular medications again when you arrive home.

Nutrition

  • Eat light foods for the first day such as tea, toast, soup and Jello®
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • You may increase your foods as you feel better
  • Avoid high fibre foods (i.e. beans, lentils, legumes) until your bowels are working well

Bowels

  • Please take two Senokot tablets each night until your bowels are working well. A prescription is not needed.
  • If you have not had a bowel movement by the second postoperative day, pick up the laxative PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) at your pharmacy. Take 17 grams of PEG, by mouth twice a day and reduce the dose once things are going better. A prescription is not needed.

Activity and Exercise

  • There are very few restrictions on your activities after your surgery. Moving around improves circulation and speeds recovery. In general you should stay active after your surgery.
  • Do not use tampons; use sanitary pads.
  • Please note the following restrictions for specific types of surgery:
    • If you have had vaginal surgery nothing should go in the vagina for at least 6 weeks after your surgery
    • If you have had a bladder lift you should not do any heavy lifting or any lunging, swinging, (yes, that includes avoiding activities such as golfing and vacuuming), or sudden movements for 6 weeks

Please contact your surgeon’s office anytime day or night if you have any of the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding heavier than a normal period
  • A temperature greater than 38 degrees
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent burning or discomfort with urination
  • Inability  to urinate

If you have any post-operative concerns please contact your Surgeon’s office. There is always a Gynecologist on-call to address any concerns that you have. Please do not contact your family doctor or go to the Emergency Room with your concerns unless directed to do so by the Gynecologist on-call.

Your surgeon will want to see you in the office for a visit. This is usually about 6 weeks after your surgery. Please ensure that you have a follow-up appointment arranged.

 
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