Major Surgery Post Operation Instructions


DO plan to “take it easy” for the first week after surgery. Spend a lot of time resting. You should be able to do simple household tasks and walk at a moderate pace. You may climb stairs slowly.

DO NOT lift heavy objects or do excessive bending or pulling. Avoid activities like gardening, laundry, vacuuming, and shopping that require lifting or prolonged standing. Let your body be your guide – if it hurts do not do it.

DO NOT use tampons, douche, or have sexual intercourse for 6 weeks, or until advised by your physician.

DO NOT drive for 2-3 weeks following surgery.

DO continue the TED hose, if given them, for the first 5 days. You may take them off to shower. They can be washed by hand.

DO use the Incentive Spirometer, if given one, for the first 5 days, at least 4 times a day for 10 breaths each.

DO take showers only for the first week. After that, you may have a tub bath. Be careful of getting in and out of the tub. You may wash your hair.

DO NOT plan long car trips (>3 hours) or airplane travel within 6 weeks of your surgery. Consult your doctor for specifics.


DO drink plenty of water and other fluids. You might not be very hungry, but stay well hydrated. Avoid carbonated drinks during the first week, as they may make gas pains worse.

DO stay on a soft bland diet for the first few days (soup, noodles, grits, cooked vegetables, cereal) until your bowels are back to normal. Avoid crunchy foods, roughage, and spicy foods the first week.

Constipation and bloating are common during the first few weeks. It is okay to use a stool softener like Colace, Ducolax, or Miralax.


Medications will be given to you, usually at your pre-op visit by your doctor. If you do not need

a prescription, you can take over the counter pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol. If you feel you need a refill, please call during office hoursPain medication may not be refilled by the on-calldoctor. You may resume all other medications the evening of your surgery, once you can eat.


Abdominal Incisions:

Wash incision with soap and water. Steri Strips may be removed after 5 days. Non-tender swelling, raised appearance of you incision are normal and will improve with time. Wear loose clothing and leave the incision open to the air when possible, otherwise keep the area clean and dry. Gauze may be placed in the skin fold to keep it dry. If your incision pulls apart, begins draining pus, or becomes very red and hot to the touch, please call the office at once.

Vaginal spotting frequently occurs after surgery and should become scanty and brown within 2 weeks. Infrequent spotting with a brown or yellow strong smelling discharge can be normal during healing up until 6 weeks. If you had a myomectomy, your bleeding may be more like a light period off and on for up to 4 weeks. If you have bleeding more than a period, please call the office immediately. Groin pain, pulling pains, and muscle soreness are common after vaginal surgery. Heating pads are okay to use as well as baths after 1 week. Advil is helpful for the muscle soreness.

Your expected return to work should be _________________. If you are not doing well enough for this please contact our office to be seen for further evaluation.

****** Call if you are experiencing excessive pain, nausea, vomiting, a temperature higher than 101 degrees, difficulty urinating, or incision drainage.******