IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURGERY:
- Family members will be updated on how the surgery went.
- Depending on the condition and type of surgery, some patients may go home the same day or stay at the hospital longer.
- As you feel better, you can slowly start to eat and move as you feel comfortable.
- Ask for additional pain medications if needed.
- If you have a drain or foley, these will be removed over the next few days.
- Increase your activity as tolerated.
- The first few weeks after surgery, you may feel tired or fatigued. This is normal. You should become stronger every day. Activity is the most important measure you can take to prevent complications and to begin to feel like yourself again. You will be given individualized instructions before you go home
- You may require additional physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Increase your activity slowly; do not do too much because you are feeling good. Walking is a good exercise. If you can, aim for at least four short walks a day, even if inside your home.
- If you feel light headed or fatigued after increasing activity, rest, decrease the amount of activity that you do, and begin building your tolerance to activity more slowly.
- Refrain from lifting, pushing, stooping or straining for at least 6 weeks. For most patients, this means lifting nothing heavier than 10 lbs for the first 4 weeks; and no lifting objects above shoulder level.
- You may resume sexual activity as your tolerance allows.
- Do not drive until you are off pain medications and speak to your physician.
- Return to work depends upon the condition and surgery. Typically this is at least 2-4 weeks after surgery. We will inform you when the time is appropriate.
- You may resume your usual medications immediately after surgery, with the following resumed in:
- 2 days: Heparin or low molecular weight heparin (Lovenox).
- 1 week: blood blood thinners (e.g. aspirin, plavix, coumadin (Warfarin), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), and Lovenox fish oil, garlic, or vitamin E supplements). If you are getting vascular surgery or an angiogram, you may be asked to continue taking this through the pre- and post- operative period.
- 6 weeks: anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Alleve), indomethacin). If you had a fusion, we ask that you not take these for at least 6 weeks following surgery. These agents can delay the healing process as it relates to bony fusion.
- Exceptions to these will be made depending upon your medical condition and type of surgery you had.
- You may resume a normal diet as tolerated, unless otherwise specified.
- Refrain from alcoholic beverages while taking pain medication.
- Refrain from smoking because it inhibits the healing process.
- You may shower 48 - 72 hours after your procedure.
- You may soak in a bathtub, hot tub or pool a month after your procedure.
- Do not scrub the incision.
- For suture or staple remove, schedule an appointment with us or your primary care physician.
- Please contact us if you experience any of these warning signs. If you cannot reach us, please report to the nearest Emergency Room for prompt medical attention.
- Fever with a temperature greater than 101.5 degrees F.
- Worsening back or leg pain with or without new neurologic symptoms.
- New neurologic symptoms including leg weakness, incontinence, inability to urinate or defecate.
- Swollen, painful calf with or without fever.
- Significant redness, swelling or drainage from the incision site.
- Significant clear fluid drainage from the incision site.