If there are white gauze dressings covering your wounds, they may be removed 24 hours following surgery. Underneath you will find Steri-Strips, small white pieces of tape. Please leave these alone. They typically fall off within two weeks of surgery. You may gently shower 24 hours after surgery, trying not to remove the Steri-Strips. You may take a bath 14 days after surgery.
Your wounds may be closed with glue instead of Steri-Strips, with or without an outer gauze dressing. If so, follow the instructions above; the glue will peel off within 2 weeks of surgery.
Begin with a bland diet, such as chicken noodle soup, crackers, Gatorade or tea, and gradually work your way up to a normal diet.
When you get home from the hospital it is important that you get up and move around the house. When first getting up from the lying down position, go slowly. It is important to sit on the side of the bed for 3 to 4 minutes to let your body adjust. At night, do not get up quickly and walk to the bathroom. This is to avoid the rare occasion when (due to pain medication and anesthesia) patients become faint after quickly arising from a lying down position.
For the first week following surgery, avoid any strenuous physical activity. Walking short distances and going up and down stairs is acceptable. Do not drive for at least 5 days after surgery or if you have taken any prescription pain medication within the past 24 hours. During the second week, you may walk for exercise. At the end of the second week, if you routinely run for exercise, you may begin lightly jogging. Do not lift anything heavier than 15 lbs. for at least two weeks following surgery. Following this two week period, you may gradually increase your activities using common sense. However, you should avoid any physical activity that might make your incision sore, such as lifting heavy objects, moving furniture, lifting weights, etc.
You should resume all your home medications except for aspirin and other anticoagulants, which should be discontinued for at least a week following surgery unless other arrangements have been made with your physician.
When you get home from the hospital, please call our office at (512) 467-7151 to make an appointment the week following surgery.
Ice packs on your incisions may be useful during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off is a good rule of thumb.
Use the prescription pain medication provided at the time of discharge as directed. Be sure to take narcotic pain medication with food so as not to upset your stomach. As soon as possible transition to non-narcotic pain relievers such as Tylenol. If you have no past problems with ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding or allergies to aspirin, you may take Ibuprofen. Do not drive while you are taking a prescription pain medication.
Nausea is common during the post-operative period and may be caused by pain medication. Stopping the pain medication and using Tylenol or ibuprofen will likely help.
Two to three days following surgery it is not unusual to notice some swelling of the scrotum and possibly bruising of the penis and testicles. This will resolve within several days to a week. Women may similarly note swelling and bruising of the labia on the affected side.
It is not unusual for patients taking narcotic pain medication after surgery to become constipated. This should be treated by gradually increasing your activity and drinking a normal amount of water to remain hydrated. A stool softener such as Colace may be used for a few days. A diet high in fiber or dietary fiber supplements (such as Metamucil, Fibercon, Konsyl, Citrucel) may also help. For persistent constipation, our favorite remedy is Miralax, although Ducolax suppositories, Milk of Magnesia or Fleet enemas can be used and are available without a prescription. Use all over the counter medications as directed.
Should you experience a temperature over 101 degrees or have persistent nausea or vomiting or other problems that you think need medical attention, please call us at the office.