Post-Operative Instructions

Laparoscopy, Tubal Ligation, Laser Laparoscopy

1. Though your incisions are small, you had a major surgery. Take it easy, especially for the first few days. You may drive in one week.

2. Call your physician for any of the following:

Temperature of 101 degrees or higher

Nausea or vomiting lasting more than 24 hours

3. Expect the following:

Pain throughout the lower abdomen as well as at the incisions

Bruising on the abdomen

Light bleeding from the vagina

Shoulder pain – Sometimes this is the worst pain you will have. It is caused by irritatation to the diaphragm. The same nerve that supplies the diaphragm supplies the shoulder. This pain may take up to a week to resolve.

Sore throat – General anesthesia requires a tube to be placed in your airway to allow breathing. This can irritate the airway. Chloroseptic and ibuprofen will help with this.

4. Here are a few recommendations to make your recovery easier:

Eat a low-fat, high fiber diet for the first week after surgery. It is common to have changes in your bowel function (constipation or bowel cramping) after general anesthesia and abdominal surgery. If you eat high-fat comfort food, you may pay for it with worsened crampy pain.

Take Ibuprofen (if you are not allergic or intolerant to it) at a dose of 800 mg (four over-the-counter pills) at every meal for two or three days.

Take the pain medications prescribed to you if you need them. Don’t be tough – it’s harder to get out of pain than to keep pain at a minimum.

You may shower normally. Soap and water are fine on the incision. You may also clean the incision with hydrogen peroxide, but do not use any antibacterial ointments. Dry the incision well after bathing.
You may resume sexual activities one week after uncomplicated laparoscopy.

D&C, Hysteroscopy, or Endometrial Ablation

1. Take it easy the first day after surgery. Though your surgical procedure was a minor one, the effects of anesthesia or sedation may require more recovery than you expected.

2. Expect the following:

  • Bleeding from the vagina – this is usually a dark red blood like the last days of a menstrual cycle, but it may also be bright red. If the bleeding progresses to clots the size of a golf ball or larger, call your physician. It may take a week for the bleeding to stop.
  • Cramping – similar to menstrual cramps, but often more severe, the cramping is caused by stretching of the uterine ligaments during surgery and manipulation of the uterus. If you can take ibuprofen, this is the best medication for uterine cramping. The dose needed is 800 mg (four over the counter pills at one time) three times a day.
  • Sore throat – if you had general anesthesia, a sore throat is common after surgery. Chloroseptic throat spray and ibuprofen may help.

3. Do not use tampons and do abstain from intercourse for one week after surgery.

Call with any concerns at the office number 819-1500.

 

Hysterectomy

1. Take it easy the first week after discharge from the hospital. You had major surgery; no matter how easy or hard your hospital stay was, your body is recovering from the surgical process. If you take adequate downtime immediately after surgery, your total recovery will be faster.

2. Expect the following:

  • Bleeding from the vagina – you may or may not have light bleeding from the vagina. Staining on a pad is normal. If the bleeding becomes heavy, call 819-1500. Bleeding may last for up to four weeks.
  • Post-operative pain

    a) Pelvic pain – located in the lower abdomen, an deep, achy feeling on both sides is common. If you can take Ibuprofen, use a dose of 800 mg (four over the counter pills) every eight hours. Add prescription pills given by your doctor if needed.

    b) Bowel pain – this usually occurs on the third through fifth day after surgery. Time will fix this, but it can be very severe. If it progresses to vomiting and inability to tolerate food, call 819-1500.

    c) Joint/muscular/back pain – these usually stem from positioning during surgery. Though we do our best to protect you during surgery, you may experience soreness from being unable to change from an uncomfortable position. Again, Ibuprofen is the best treatment.

    d) Headache – particularly if you are prone to headache, the fluid shifts during surgery and the postoperative period can trigger headache.

3. Do not use tampons and do abstain from intercourse for six weeks after surgery.

4. Activities – Increase your activity level gently each day. It is very important that you do not do activities that make you put pressure on your pelvis, such as lifting or pulling heavy objects. You may drive when you are sure you could avoid an accident by swerving or slamming on the brakes. Usually this takes about two weeks. Any return to work considerations should be discussed with your doctor.

Call with any concerns at the office number 819-1500.