The following are general guidelines for routine discharge instructions following abdominal/vaginal surgery. If these instructions do not answer your questions, or if you feel you have an emergency, please call the office to speak with your provider or to get connected to the on-call provider.
Pain: You should expect to have pain in your abdomen and at your incision site for the next several weeks. The pain medications prescribed to you for discharge should relieve the majority of your pain, but you should expect some generalized discomfort which improves daily.
Activity: Please limit your activity over the next two weeks. Avoid lifting anything over 20 lbs and limit household duties until your follow-up appointment in the office. You may gradually increase your activity as your pain improves, but remember that total healing time from surgery typically is six weeks.
If you have had any bladder surgery performed, including incontinence procedures, please follow the specific instructions given to you by your doctor. Until you have had your follow up visit in the office, put nothing inside your vagina – no tampons, douching or sexual intercourse.
Diet: After surgery, it may take some time before your bowel habits regain their normal activity. Pain medications, especially narcotics, will slow down your bowel function. It is recommended that you eat a well-balanced diet and to avoid overly greasy and fatty foods as they may increase discomfort.
Bowel Habits: Your first bowel movement following surgery may not occur for 3 to 4 days after surgery. It is important to drink plenty of water and balance your diet to help avoid constipation. If you feel constipated or have gas pain, you may take milk of magnesia or Dulcolax suppositories to help stimulate your bowels. Both products are non-prescription.
Incision: If you have had an abdominal surgery, your provider may have used staples or sutures to close your incision. If you still have staples in place, please call the office to make arrangements for their removal. Once your staples are removed, or if you have had sutures to close your incision, sterile strips will cover your incision. Most of the strips will fall off on their own; however, if they have not fallen off in one week, please remove them.
In all cases, it is important for you to keep your incision clean and dry. Gently wash your incision in the shower with a soft wash cloth and dry with a towel.
Bleeding: If you had a hysterectomy or vaginal repair, you will experience some vaginal bleeding. In a week or two this will turn into a yellowish discharge. Your bleeding should be no heavier than a menstrual period. If bleeding becomes heavier, please call the office.
Additional Concerns: Please call the office if you have any of the following:
Fever greater than 100.4°
Pain not controlled by pain medications
Burning and frequency with urination