Unless instructed differently by your physician, dressings
should be left in place for 24 hours.
- If you experience
continued drainage from the operative site, you may replace the dressing with
dry gauze to prevent leaking onto clothing.
- You may shower 48
hours after your surgery. (No tub baths.)
- Face away from the
shower spray to prevent discomfort and pat dry.
- If there is any tape
on the incisions, it is OK for the tape to get wet. If the tape comes off on
its own, you may leave it off.
- Otherwise leave it on
until you are seen in the office.
- Getting the stitches
wet in clean water will not harm them. Until permitted by your physician, you
should avoid pool water, ocean water, bath water, etc. These are considered to
be “dirty water.”
- You may have a
variable amount of swelling, bruising, and/or discoloration at the operative site. This
is expected and
will resolve with time.
- Wear the garments
recommended by your surgeon. It is OK to take them off for short periods of
time (example: to
shower, to wash the garment).
Avoid heat application to the surgical site (ex: heating pad, hot
compresses) until cleared by your surgeon.
Most of the sutures are absorbable, but a few sutures may need
to be removed approximately 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure.
- Expect small amounts
of drainage from the surgical site for a few days to weeks following your
surgery, especially from the drain sites.
- Because many areas are
closed under tension, small areas may open along the incision sites following
- These open wounds are not closed with sutures once open.
- Dressing changes will
be needed in order to allow the wounds to heal and these wounds may take several weeks to heal
- If the opening is wide
along the length of the incision (and not deep), wash the affected area with soap and water. Next, apply
Vaseline or Neosporin and
cover with gauze.
- If the opening is
deep, call the office for wound care/dressing instructions. Generally an office
visit is not necessary and
wound care instructions can be given over the phone.
Do not wear any make up on or around the
operative site until stitches are out and the wound is completely healed.
You may experience some
adverse effects from the anesthetic medications that were used during your
procedure. These effects will range from grogginess, to fatigue, to nausea, and may last for several
days after the surgery. You also may have a sore throat from the breathing
tube. Your prescriptions will help with these side effects.
- Take all of your
medications as directed on the labels.
- If antibiotics are
prescribed, take the entire prescription until finished.
- Unless otherwise
instructed by your surgeon, avoid all aspirin and non-steroidal products for 3 to 4 weeks after
- Allergic reactions to
medications will manifest as itching or a rash. If this should occur, stop all
medications immediately and
contact the office.
- Some patients have
problems with constipation following surgery. If this occurs, try drinking
prune juice or taking an over the counter laxative (ex: Colace).
Care for all of your drains according to the instructions given
to you before discharge.
- All output should be
recorded on the enclosed sheet. This will help to determine when the drains are
ready for removal.
- The fluid needs to be
recorded every 12 hours on the provided sheet.
- Remove the drainage
plug from the end of bulb, being careful not to touch the drainage spout. Drain
into a measuring container. Fully squeeze bulb in your hand and reinsert drainage plug. Record drainage
- Once the drainage
totals are less than 30 cc in a 24-hour period for two days, please call the
office to schedule an appointment for drainage removal. (Do not forget to bring
the record with you to your appointment.)
- The site where the
drain is attached may leak, and
you may need to use a piece of gauze at the site to prevent the fluid from
leaking onto your clothing.
- If you have more than
one drain, it is okay that they are draining different amounts from each other.
Also, the drainage color may vary from one drain to the other.
- Make sure that you
have no tugging or pressure on the JP drain; this may pull it out of the
incision. You can pin the bulb or tie the drain around your waist.
- The drain should be
level or below the incision in order to maintain suction.
- If you think that your
drain is “clogged” try “milking” or “stripping” it.
- At some point, you may
notice a white piece of plastic in your drainage bulb. This is nothing to worry
about; your drain will still function appropriately.
Use common sense. If it feels like too much or hurts, then don’t
- Avoid strenuous
activity or heavy lifting. Do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
- Sleep in any position
that is comfortable.
- We encourage moderate
walking. More strenuous activity should be approved by your surgeon.
- Do not drive until you
have been off pain medication for 48 hours.
Possible Reason for Concern
- Fever of 101.5 degrees
or higher for 24 hours or more.
- Significant increase
in swelling, pain, drainage, or redness of any surgical site.
- Severe pain not
responding to prescribed medication.
- Other symptoms or
problems you aren’t comfortable with after surgery.
In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately.
Otherwise, please call our office at 843-792-4700 if you have any problems, questions or concerns. Someone is always available
You may talk to the
following people if you call our office:
Josh Farrar, M.D.
Brian Kubiak, M.D.
Cindy McCord, M.D.
Lauren Springs, PA-C
Jill Neumann, PA-C