1. TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS AS DIRECTED. Pain tolerance varies from one person to the next. Stay on top of your pain by taking your medication regularly for the first few days. Take your medications with food to decrease the chances of nausea.
2. REST FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS following surgery. DO NOT drive or drink alcohol while taking narcotic pain medication. You may walk and climb stairs slowly. No heavy lifting or any exercising for a minimum of 2+ weeks. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Everyone heals at different rates.
3. YOU MAY SHOWER 24-48 HOURS after surgery. Keep your incisions clean and dry. Your surgeon may remove your dressings and/or some stitches at your post-op visit. You may use hydrogen peroxide to clean the incisions. DO NOT submerge in a bath or swimming pool for a minimum of 3 weeks.
4. CALL IF YOU EXPERIENCE excessive pain, bleeding, swelling, discoloration at the incision site, or fever over 101 degrees F. Remember, scars take a year to fully mature. Wear sunscreen (SPF 30) over your scars after they heal.
5. WHEN CALLING THE OFFICE TO SPEAK WITH A NURSE please be aware the nurse will return your calls based on her availability. If you have an emergency, please make this known. When you call, please have the following information available.
o name / date of birth
o date of most recent surgery
o type of most recent surgery
o name and phone number for pharmacy
o drug allergies
o symptoms and onset / temperature
6. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AS INDICATED:
o GARMENTS/BINDERS: Garments (bras or girdles) help to reduce swelling and promote tissue retraction following certain surgeries. Wear it for about 3-4 weeks, around the clock, under clothing. The garment may be removed for bathing, or you may shower in the garment and blow it dry. The garment may also be loosened or adjusted as needed. Hand wash your garment and DO NOT dry it in the dryer. (Bring your second garment to your post-op visit.) Keep any dressings or steri-strips on as instructed.
o DRAINS: Drains may be inserted to reduce blood/fluid accumulation at the surgical site. They should be emptied about 4 times per day, and more often if necessary. The bulb should be compressed when emptied, then closed. The tubing can be massaged as needed to maintain potency. Expect some oozing at the tubing insertion site. Gauze can be used to reinforce the site. The drain bulbs can be placed in the pockets of your jacket or safety pinned to your clothing. Drains are typically removed 1-2 weeks post-op. A drain record should be kept to record the amount of daily output. (Bring the record to your post-op visits.)