Immediately after the operation, you may be driven in a car, go outside on a nice day, and climb steps at home. The only restrictions after your operation are no heavy lifting or driving. Heavy lifting includes anything greater than 25 pounds. Heavy lifting and vigorous activity is to be restricted for three to four weeks after your operation. Work can be resumed within a week (often earlier) if no lifting is required. If heavy labor is necessary, you should wait at least three to four weeks before resuming work.
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.
Sometimes the sedation you get during your operation may make your stomach a bit sour. It is advisable for the first evening that you stay on light food.
Once the effect of the local anesthetic wears off, you will begin to experience the usual discomfort associated with the surgical procedure. A prescription for a mild narcotic is oftentimes given after this operation. Please keep in mind that these medications can constipate. We recommend six ounces of prune juice and one tablespoon of Milk of Magnesia each evening for approximately three to four days until your bowel function returns to normal. 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. When the pain is less, you may switch to non-narcotic pain medications including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil or Motrin unless you are not allowed to take these medications for any medical reason.
An antibiotic was given to you intravenously during your operation. You do not need an antibiotic during your recovery.
Please remove the surgical bandage within 24 to 48 hours after the operation. At that time, you may shower. Just allow the water to run over the incision and pat it dry. Do not use a wash rag or soap directly over the incision. If you wish to cover it after your shower with gauze pad, that is fine, but you may also leave it open to the air.
Swelling and Discoloration
Most patients will experience mild swelling and discoloration (black and blueness) at the surgical site. Occasionally, in men this will sometimes extend down to the penis or scrotum. Application of an ice pack to these areas can be helpful in reducing these symptoms. Frequently, a hard ridge (the “healing ridge”) is noted in the line of the incision. This is normal and usually recedes over a three month period.
Should any signs of infection occur, notify the physician’s office. This includes increasing redness, tenderness, drainage, or temperature.
Your surgeon may have place a "pain pump" to minimize your discomfort. Occassionally, there will be oozing of blood from the exit site. If this is troublesome, you may remove the catheter at any time and apply minimal pressure. Remove the catheter in 48 hours, at the time you remove the dressins or band-aids. It is held in by a "butterfly" tape. Remove that and the catheter will slide out easily with a gentle pull. It may be as long as 3-5" - do not be alarmed.
Please call the office and make an appointment to be seen in approximately one or two weeks for a general checkup and suture removal.
If you have any questions or problems after your operation, call the office or the answering service and someone will get back to you.