Post-Operative Instructions

1. You MUST HAVE AN ADULT DRIVE YOU HOME from the facility. You will not be allowed to drive yourself or use public transportation.

2. After surgery you MUST HAVE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT STAY WITH YOU a minimum of 24 hours. You CANNOT be left alone. The 24 hours begin when you are discharged from the office or hospital. Have everything ready at home PRIOR to surgery. Make arrangements for someone to stay with you. Let the person or persons know you cannot be left alone. This is important because of the danger of falling and you may lose the concept of time for the day and over medicate yourself. 

3. The effects of anesthesia can persist for 24 hours. You must exercise extreme caution before engaging in any activity that could be harmful to yourself or others.

4. DRINK fluids to help rid the body of the drugs used in surgery. If you have straws in the house you will tend to drink more fluids the first few days after surgery.

5. Resume your normal diet as tolerated. Eating foods that are bland and soft for the first day or so - foods like after you have had a flu - may be best tolerated. You must eat more than crackers and juice, otherwise you will continue to feel weak and will not heal as well. REMEMBER to take the medications with a little something to eat or you will get sick to your stomach.

6. Please avoid the use of alcoholic beverages for the first 24 hours (it dilates bloods vessels and can cause unwanted bleeding) and as long as pain medications are being used (dangerous combination).

7. Take only medications that have been prescribed by your surgeon for your postoperative care and take them according to the instruction on the bottle. Your pain medication may make you feel "spacey"; therefore, have someone else give you your medications according to the proper time intervals.

8. If you experience any generalized itching, rash, wheezing or tightness in the throat, stop taking all medications and call the office immediately, as this may be a sign of a drug allergy.

9. You can expect moderate discomfort, which should be helped by the pain medications. The greatest discomfort is usually during the first 24 hours. Thereafter, you will find that you require less pain medication.

10. Call 305-531-6030 if you have: SEVERE PAIN not responding to pain medication; swelling that is greater on one side than the other; incisions that are RED OR FEVERISH; a FEVER; or if any other questions or problems arise.

11. Keep any DRESSINGS ON, CLEAN AND DRY. Do not remove them until instructed to do so. There may be some bloody drainage on the dressings. If you have excessive bleeding or the bandages are too tight, call the office immediately.

12. After surgery it is important to have a bowel movement within a day or two. If you do not, you may take over the counter laxatives to encourage your bowels to move.

13. Minimal activity for the first 48 hours. No house cleaning, furniture rearranging, etc. Relax, be pampered, and let your body heal. The less energy you use on doing things. the more energy your body can focus on healing.

14. Limit lifting, pulling or pushing for 14 days. No lifting over 5 pounds for the first 2 weeks.

15. Position after surgery is different with different types of surgery. If your surgery is from the waist up we ask that the head of the bed be elevated 45 degrees. This requires a pillow under the small of your back, two pillows under your shoulders and head, and if you have a pillow under each elbow you will relax and stay in position.

16. You are requested to remain within a reasonable traveling distance of the office for approximately ten days.

17. Once cleared to shower you may do so every day. Please do not use the bathtub for 2 weeks.

18. NO SMOKING for the first 14 postoperative days. Any cheating will delay healing and may lead to severe complications.

19. You may drive two days after anesthesia, once you are off the pain pills, and when you experience no pain with this activity (you need to be able to react quickly).

20. All surgeries involve some scarring, which can take up to a year to fade. No matter how small they may be, we still want them to heal as well as they are able. Exposing red scars to the sun can cause permanent discoloration. A good sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) can help and will protect the surrounding tissues that might not feel a sunburn developing while the nerves are healing. Sunlight can even reach scars under a swimsuit, so take adequate precautions.

21. DO NOT use a hot tub for 4 weeks.

22. AVOID sports or strenuous activities 4 to 6 weeks as your surgeon gives you clearance during your post-operative visits. This is to avoid any unnecessary complications (bleeding, bruising, swelling).

23. You may return to work when you feel able and are cleared to do so by your surgeon.


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