Care after surgery

Care that continues after your surgery

After major surgery, allow yourself 6 to 8 weeks to recover fully. It’s important to take good care of yourself and follow the below advice when you go home. You’ll have my personal mobile number so you can call me if you have any concerns after your surgery.

Pain relief

Continue to take regular pain relief according to the discharge instructions you received in the hospital. 

Panadol and Nurofen

In the initial days after surgery we recommend you take:

  • Panadol (2 tablets every 4-6 hours, maximum of 8 tablets/day)

or

  • Nurofen 400 mg (every 6-8 hours, maximum three times/day)

Please avoid Nurofen if you’re allergic to it or have been diagnosed with asthma.

Stronger pain relief

You may require stronger pain relief in the initial days after surgery. You’ll be given a 5-day supply of stronger painkillers (Endone, Tramadol or similar) when you leave hospital. 

As you start to feel better, you can start to decrease the amount of pain relief medication.

Constipation

Preventing constipation after surgery is extremely important. You can use natural remedies or buy a laxative such as Coloxyl, Metamucil or Movicol to prevent constipation. Please avoid long-term use of Senna.

Wound care

Please follow this advice to care for your wound:

  • Your dressing should be removed on day 5 following surgery. 
  • Remove your dressing while you are having a shower. 
  • Don’t use any soaps or lotions to wash your wound. 
  • If your wound becomes red, feels hot to touch or you have an elevated temperature, you may have an infection. Please contact us or your GP.

Vaginal bleeding after surgery

You may have some spotting after surgery that may last for 2 to 4 weeks. Please contact us if you experience any fresh bleeding, discharge with an unusual smell, fever or lower abdominal pain.

Sex

Avoid penetrative vaginal sex for at least 8 weeks after hysterectomy and at least 4 weeks after a LLETZ procedure. For other procedures, please check information on post operative advice given at time of discharge or check with our staff.

Clexane (blood thinners) and TED stockings

If you’ve been prescribed Clexane injections, you’ll need to take them for 28 days to reduce your risk of getting blood clots in your legs that can be life-threatening in some cases. These injections have a risk of easy bruising and excessive bleeding if you injure yourself. Continue to wear your TED stockings for 4 weeks. 

Activity

You can gradually increase your physical activity when you go home. Avoid strenuous exercise for 6 to 8 weeks like jogging, running, Pilates or a gym workout to reduce the risk of complications after surgery.

We recommend that you don’t do:

  • swimming
  • any heavy lifting, such as carrying laundry, children or shopping bags
  • housework such as vacuuming or gardening for 6 to 8 weeks. 

As a general guide, avoid lifting anything that weighs more than 5 kilos or causes you discomfort if less than 5 kilos.

Driving

The recovery from abdominal surgery varies from person to person. Generally, it can take 2 to 6 weeks for women to recover sufficiently to be able to drive. Please check with your insurer as there may be policy exclusions.

 

You shouldn’t drive while you’re on strong pain killers that have a sedative effect.

We recommend that you resume driving ONLY when you’re:

  • comfortable sitting and wearing a seatbelt for the duration of your drive
  • free from the effects of sedating medications like pain killers
  • able to look over your shoulder to assess traffic
  • capable enough to perform emergency manoeuvres
  • able to work the controls

Follow-up appointment

Remember to book your follow-up appointment 1 to 3 weeks after surgery by ringing 02 9134 5853 or email [email protected].

Want to make an appointment?