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Adhering to all post-operative care instructions is essential for a successful recovery after surgery. These instructions are designed based on the average patient. However, your surgeon may modify them during your office visits depending on your individual needs and based on your medical history, the type of surgery performed, and the progress of your healing.
- Please take all medications as directed (see detailed instructions below).
- Keep all surgical incisions, surgical tapes, and surgical areas clean and dry.
- You may NOT exercise until cleared by your surgeon.
- NO baths, Jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms, swimming, or submerging the incisions until after the incisions have completely healed. This is typically 4-6 weeks after surgery.
- If you have surgical tape on your incisions, do not peel them off. These will be replaced as directed by your surgeon.
- No flights or long car rides for at least 1 week after surgery.
- If you smoke, do not smoke for at least 4 weeks before surgery and for at least 4 weeks after surgery. Smoking puts you at a greater risk of complications.
- Do NOT drink alcohol during the post-operative period. Alcohol may interfere with your medications.
- No driving while you are on medications that can cause drowsiness, such as Gabapentin, Oxycodone, Tramadol, etc.
- Swelling and inflammation are often at their worst approximately 72 hours after surgery. Things should slowly improve after that.
- Be aware of potential infection, which may manifest as redness, increased pain, yellowish drainage, or swelling. Although a fever is rare in the case of a minor infection, please contact the office if you suspect that you may be dealing with an infection.
- Look out for bleeding beneath the stitches, which may result in rapid swelling and seepage from the area between the stitches. If you notice any of these signs, elevate the affected area and apply steady pressure to it for five minutes. This will generally resolve the issue. If the bleeding persists, please reach out to the Post-Op Care Team for assistance.
- If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our Post-Op Care Team. You can call, text, email, or send us a message on the Patient Portal. If you have an urgent concern, please call (978) 800-1680 for the most immediate response. If it is after hours, call (978) 800-1680 and dial extension 3 to reach a provider.
Please start these medications as soon as you get home from surgery.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg: Take every 6 hours scheduled. Begin taking the night before surgery, take the morning of surgery, then take scheduled for 5 days after surgery, then as needed for discomfort.
- Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) 600mg: Take every 6 hours for 5 days after surgery, then as needed for discomfort.
- Gabapentin 300mg: Take twice a day, once in AM and once in PM. Begin taking the night before surgery, take the morning of surgery, then take scheduled for 5 days after surgery, then as needed for discomfort.
- Tramadol 50mg or Oxycodone 5mg: Take every 4-6 hours for breakthrough discomfort. Only use this when your discomfort is not controlled after taking all other medications.
You may take acetaminophen and ibuprofen together for stronger effect, or you can alternate them so that you are taking one of them every 3 hours for more continuous effect. Ibuprofen, tramadol, and oxycodone should be taken with a small snack to avoid upsetting your stomach.
Gabapentin, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), and Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) each target discomfort in a different way. Gabapentin helps to control nerve-related discomfort, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a pain reducer, and Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is an anti-inflammatory. Using these 3 medications together, as prescribed on each of the labels, in the immediate post-operative period is most beneficial.
For Muscle Spasms (optional):
- Diazepam (Valium) 5mg: Take every 8 hours as needed for discomfort or anxiety
Muscle spasms and anxiety can contribute to discomfort after surgery. You should try using this before using tramadol for discomfort.
- Ondansetron (Zofran) ODT 8mg: Dissolve under the tongue twice a day. Begin taking the night before surgery, take the morning of surgery, then take as needed for nausea.
- Scopolamine patch: this will be prescribed to you and then applied by the anesthesiologist or nurse prior to surgery. Pick it up from your pharmacy and bring it with you to surgery. Do not open or touch the patch.
Depending on your medical history, your specific procedure, and your risk of infection, you may be given one or more of the following antibiotics after surgery. If you are given antibiotics, it is important to complete the entire course (until all the pills are gone). Take the antibiotics with a glass of water and a small snack such as crackers so that they do not upset your stomach. Avoid taking certain antibiotics with fruit juice and dairy products.
- Cephalexin (Keflex) 500mg: Take every 6 hours with food
- Bactrim DS 800/160mg: Take every 12 hours with food
- Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) 500mg: Take every 12 hours with food
- Clindamycin 300mg: Take every 8 hours with food
- Doxycycline 100mg: Take every 12 hours with food
- Cefpodoxime (Vantin) 200mg: Take every 12 hours with food
For Sleep (optional):
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 25mg: Take 30 minutes before bedtime to help you sleep
Both pain medications and anesthesia can cause constipation, which may lead to discomfort and bloating. You may take these over-the-counter medications to alleviate constipation as needed.
- Docusate-Senna (PeriColace, Colace with Senna, Senna Plus) 50/8.6mg: Take 2-4 tablets daily as needed
- Polyethylene glycol (Miralax) 17g: Mix 1-2 heaping tablespoons into 8oz of water or clear liquid daily as needed
- Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) USP 10mg suppository: Peel open wrapping and insert 1 suppository into rectum once daily as needed
- Fleets Saline Enema: Follow instructions on packaging as needed