Immediately after surgery
- Your support person is required to check you out of the hospital and drive you home. Your support person must stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery.
- You will feel the effects of the general anaesthetic for up to 24 hours after your procedure.
- Unless otherwise indicated, you may remove the compression stockings as soon as you are regularly mobilising, even if you’re just getting up to go to the bathroom.
- It’s not unusual to experience postoperative nausea. To help with nausea eat dry, solid food with small sips of water.
- Make sure you are familiar with the signs and symptoms of a medical emergency. These may include, extreme pain, swelling, redness, or heat (usually one sided), a temperature, chills or persistent vomiting. If you are experiencing something of concern please contact the clinic immediately.
- Take your medications as prescribed. Take all medications with food to prevent nausea. Avoid taking all your medication at once – try to space out your doses by 30 minutes.
- The day after surgery, our clinic nurse will contact you to arrange your dressing changes or to organise your virtual postop appointment if you live out of town.
Rest, rest, and more rest!
Eat healthy, protein dense food and drink plenty of fluids. Limit coffee, tea and fizzy drinks.
- Prescription pain medication may cause constipation. Take prescribed laxatives, drink plenty of fluids, and gently mobilise around your home to relieve symptoms.
- Do not drink alcohol for at least one week. Alcohol affects blood clotting.
- Keep dressings clean and dry – make sure you attend the scheduled dressing changes as directed by the clinic.
- Follow specific postoperative instructions for showering time guidelines, if you shower too soon after surgery, you may get an infection.
- Although you should rest and relax as much as possible, gentle, short walks around your home are important. This does not include cleaning the house, shopping, or going for walks outside.
- If your surgery involved body parts from the waist up, please keep your torso elevated at a 45-degree angle to minimise swelling.
- No smoking for at least eight weeks after surgery. Smoking restricts the blood flow to the micro-vessels which can result in poor wound healing and unnecessary complications.
- Do not swim, use a hot tub or sauna, or have a bath for six weeks.
- Follow exercise guidelines written on your postoperative instructions.
- You can return to work when cleared by the clinic. Medical certificates can be provided if required.
- Scarring after surgery is unavoidable. To minimise scarring, avoid sun exposure for 12 months. Sunlight can cause permanent hyper-pigmentation (darkening) so cover scars appropriately. It can take up to one year for scars to fully heal. Visit our page, Scarring After Surgery for more information.
With most of our surgeries, dressing changes are required at once a week for 3 weeks.
Dressing changes may be done in clinic by the nurse or at your local GP if you live out of town.
In summer we see an increase in infections due to the heat. If you get hot or sweaty you will need to arrange an earlier dressing change, sometimes patients who live in humid climates may require 2 dressing changes per week.
If you have sutures, these are usually removed at week 2.
Out Of Town Patients
- We will provide you with a Dressing Change Letter to give to your GP.
- You will have a Virtual Appointment with your surgeon at week 1.
You may experience some discomfort at your week 1 dressing change, take your prescribed pain medication prior to your appointment.
At Home incision care
After your last scheduled dressing change, patients should follow the instructions below:
Wash hands thoroughly and remove dressings in the shower, rinse with tepid water, pat dry with a clean towel.
Snap a pic and email through to us for review: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover with the Micropore or alternative approved tape.
Change tape every 5 days, or as required (changing it too often may irritate the skin).
Continue use until your 6 week appointment.
If you notice any discharge or redness contact the clinic ASAP.