After Surgery

Once your operation has been completed, you'll be taken to the recovery room and monitored as the anesthesia wears off. If you need pain medication, simply ask.

If you experience nausea or vomiting after surgery, medication may be offered. Any soreness or bruising from IVs should disappear in a few days.

Your surgeon will advise your visitors of your condition. The staff will actively work with you to evaluate your level of discomfort and will make you as comfortable as possible.

Follow these guidelines for a safe recovery:

  • Do not drive, operate mechanical equipment or hazardous machinery or engage in any physical activity until instructed by your physician. 

  • Diet instructions will be given upon discharge. Do not drink alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. 

  • Do not make critical decisions or sign important papers for 24 hours. 

  • Limit your movement for 24 hours. Remain home with a family member. Do not engage in heavy work or heavy lifting until your doctor gives you permission.

  • Notify your doctor if nausea/vomiting continue past 12 hours. (Nausea is not uncommon after receiving anesthesia and usually subsides 6 to 12 hours after surgery. If any problems arise, call your doctor immediately. If you are at home and are unable to reach your doctor, go to the Emergency Room at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital or an emergency room near you. 

Our staff will also provide you with personalized postoperative instructions about rest, activity, medications, and diet. Be sure to follow these instructions. Take-home prescriptions may be filled at the pharmacy of your choice.

If you are scheduled to go home after surgery, you will be assisted to the hospital exit. Please make arrangements to have someone drive you home as driving is not allowed for 24 hours after surgery.

If you are admitted to the hospital, you will be transported to your room. As a patient, you may be fed intravenously or put on a liquid diet. Your family may join you in your room at this time.

Going Home

Be sure you understand all instructions and ask any questions. Recovery time from surgery varies. If you have any questions after returning home, you may call One Day Surgery at 573-883-7767.

Reasons to call your doctor after you've left the hospital:

  • You have a fever over 101°F (38°C). 

  • Your incision bleeds a lot, becomes more red, swollen or painful, or has a foul discharge. 

  • Your incision opens. Lightly press a clean cloth to the incision to control bleeding. 

  • You feel too sleepy, dizzy, or groggy (the medication may be too strong). 

  • You have pain an hour after taking pain medication (it may not be strong enough). 

  • You experience side effects from your medication such as nausea, vomiting, redness, a rash or itching.

At first, you are likely to be unsteady on your feet. The doctor or nurse will tell you when to try to walk. Your goal is simply to become active as soon as possible and to gradually increase your activity while giving yourself time to heal. Rest when you feel tired. A nurse will give you more specific information if needed.

Healthy eating will speed your recovery. If you are an outpatient, eat small amounts of easy-to-digest foods at first, or as directed by your doctor.

Tips to help your incision heal quickly:

  • Follow instructions provided by your nurse on how to care for your incision and the dressing. 

  • To help prevent infection, wash your hands before and after touching the incision area. 

  • Keep the incision area clean and dry. 

  • Take warm showers instead of baths. 

Topics you may wish to discuss with your doctor include:

  • Medications 

  • Incision care 

  • Bathing 

  • Pain control 

  • Diet 

  • Physical activity 

  • Driving 

  • Any follow-up visits 

  • Returning to work

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