Your doctor will give you specific postoperative instructions depending on your type of surgery. Here are some of the basic general instructions you need to follow after any surgery:
- Take pain-relieving and other medications as advised. Pain-relieving medication should be taken with food. After the first 48 hours of surgery, take the pain medication only when needed.
- Do not drink alcohol, drive a vehicle, operate any machinery, or sign a legal document for the first 24 hours after the surgery as the effects of the sedative and/or the anesthesia administered during the surgery may last for the first 24 hours of the surgery.
- Use Ice or cold therapy machine to control pain and limit swelling.
- Follow the specific restriction of activity, as advised. Remember that it is easier to prevent developing pain rather than managing it once it has already developed. Rest for a few days after the surgery and keep the operated extremity elevated, above the level of your heart, to control swelling.
- Keep the dressing clean and dry to promote wound healing.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks.
- Schedule your follow-up appointment with your doctor as advised.
Please consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Increased drainage from the incision
- Increased redness around the operated area
- Increased swelling that does not decrease with ice and elevation
- Foul odor
- Fever greater than 101°F
- Coldness, numbness, or blanched white or bluish color of the fingers or toes
- Sudden calf pain or shortness of breath
- Chest pain