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Recovering from Gynecological Surgery

Post-operative instructions:

  1. Arrange to have someone stay at home with you for the first 48 hours after your discharge.
  2. You are encouraged to walk around your home as much as you are able. You may climb stairs as you feel comfortable. Do not lift anything heavy for six to eight weeks or when there is no pain. You should not drive a car for two weeks or until approved by your doctor. You may return to exercise at your own pace after you post operative exam.
  3. Some weakness and fatigue are not uncommon. You should rest as much as you need and avoid activities that can put a strain on your incision, such as lifting or bending.
  4. If you have abdominal stitches they will dissolve on their own. If you have staples they will need to be removed by your physician. Your doctor will tell you when to make an appointment to have them removed. You may also have steri -strips which may be removed after a week if they do not fall off on their own.
  5. You may eat a regular diet once you are home and be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
  6. You may need sanitary pads, for the light vaginal bleeding that may last up to a week after surgery as well as a brownish discharge which may last up to four weeks.
  7. Do not use tampons, douche or have sexual intercourse until approved by your doctor.
  8. Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
    - Fever over 100.4F
    - Vaginal bleeding that is heavier than a normal period.
    - Pain that is unrelieved by pain medication.
    - Increasing abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting.
  9. You may be given a prescription for pain medication that you can have a family member or friend take to a pharmacy of your choice. Please remember to follow the directions on the label
  10. If you had your ovaries removed, you may need hormone replacement therapy. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
  11. You can usually plan to return to full-time work several weeks after surgery depending on your healing process and the type of surgery performed.
  12. As soon as you arrive home, call your Doctor's office to schedule your post-op appointment if you didn't already do so at your pre-operative surgery consultation.

Constipation
Constipation is very common after surgery, especially because many pain medicines can slow down your bowels. Take colace and senna daily to soften your stools, until you have stopped taking pain medicine or your stools become unusually loose. If you haven't had a bowel movement in two to three days, try taking a laxative, such as milk of magnesia.

About prescriptions

You will be provided with prescriptions for the medications you have been taking in the hospital. Please note that many drugs require written prescriptions for refills. If you anticipate that you will need a refill, please call your doctor's nurse during business hours, two to three days in advance, so a written prescription can be mailed to your pharmacy.

Last Updated: 7/15/2013