The evening following your operation, we encourage you to be as active as possible. You may walk around the house and climb steps. Deep breathing is encouraged. Take ten to fifteen slow deep breaths every hour to promote good lung expansion. The following day, we encourage outdoor walking, weather permitting. You are allowed to be driven in a car. You may lift heavy objects when lifting is not associated with discomfort.
You may drive when you no longer require pain medication and you can handle an emergency situation such as sudden braking or turning. This usually occurs approximately three to five days after the operation. When you think you are ready to drive, go a block or two in the neighborhood, jam the brake, cut the steering wheel hard, turn your head around; if you can accomplish all these things without discomfort, then you are safe to drive.
Following your operation, you may start clear liquids. This includes water, broth, Jello, and juices. The following day, you may slowly advance solid foods into your diet.Occasionally, patients will experience nausea for up to 24 hours after the operation. If the nausea persists beyond that or is associated with repeated episodes of vomiting, please call the office.
In most cases, a prescription for a mild narcotic will be given. Keep in mind that these medications can constipate, and if you do not move your bowels in a day or two after the operation, take some Milk of Magnesia. Also, remember that you should not drive while you are taking any narcotic pain medication. Other common side effects from the medication include drowsiness and mild nausea.
You may remove your bandages within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the operation. At that time, you may shower. Let the shower water run over the incisions and pat them dry. Do not wash them directly with a wash cloth and soap. You may leave the wound covered or uncovered as you feel most comfortable. Watch the wounds for any signs of infection including redness, tenderness, swelling, drainage, or temperature.