Instructions for Patients Having Inpatient Surgery

(Including, but not limited to:  Hysterectomy, Myomectomy, Bladder/Bowel Surgery, Exploratory Laparotomy)

Pre-Operative Instructions

  1. STOP for three (3) weeks prior to surgery date:  ANY anti-inflammatory or blood-thinning medications (including Advil, Aleve, Motrin, ibuprofen, or aspirin-like products) unless otherwise discussed with your physician, and ANY nutritional supplements (including vitamin, liquid, or tablet nutritional substances or over-the-counter diet preparations.)
  2. DO your recommended bowel preparation the evening before your surgery (either two Fleets Enemas or a  Phospho-Soda bowel prep as directed by your physician).
  3. DO NOT eat or drink ANYTHING after 12:00 Midnight before your surgery (not even a sip of water, gum, or hard candy).
  4. DO NOT take medications the morning of your surgery unless directed to do so by your physician.  You may bring your medications with you to the hospital.
  5. DO NOT smoke the morning of your surgery.
  6. DO NOT bring valuables with you to the hospital.
  7. DO NOT wear nail polish the day of your surgery. 
  8. You should not wear your contact lenses to the hospital, but eyeglasses are fine and will be removed prior to surgery.  You may also wear your dentures to the hospital, but may be asked to remove them prior to surgery.
  9. The surgery patient representative in our office will verify your insurance coverage and benefits prior to scheduling your surgery.  She can give you an estimate of your financial responsibility for the proposed services.  You  will also be contacted by the surgical facility regarding their fees.
  10. You may be scheduled to see your physician prior to surgery for a pre-operative appointment.  He or she will review your plan of care and answer any questions you may have about your planned surgery. 
  11. You will also need to have pre-surgery Lab (blood work) done.  Our surgery coordinator will give you the details about getting this done.
  12. DO notify your doctor or the office of any change(s) in your physical condition prior to surgery  (i.e. fever, cold, etc.)
  13. DO arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home from the hospital upon discharge.  The hospital will not allow you to leave on your own.

Post-Operative Instructions

Although there is individual variation, the average post-operative recovery period is four to six weeks.  Rest is  very important the first few weeks after your surgery, and it is recommended that you remain at home during the first two weeks after surgery.  You may find that you tire easily and require frequent periods of rest.  Expect minor discomfort,  but contact our office if you experience persistent or sharp pain.  After two weeks, you may gradually increase your activity.  You may resume daily activities such as light housework and driving a vehicle if you feel able.  You may go up and down stairs, as necessary, with assistance.  Exercise, vigorous activity, and heavy lifting should be avoided until after your post-operative check-up. 

You may have some vaginal discharge and bleeding, but do not douche or use a tampon.  Contact our office if your bleeding becomes heavier than a period.  Also notify our office if you have any foul smelling vaginal discharge or any difficulty urinating.

You may take baths or showers after your surgery.  Use mild soap and warm water to thoroughly cleanse the area around your incision.  Be sure to dry the incision well after bathing.  Call our office if you notice any drainage, bleeding, or separation of the incision.  Also notify us if you experience signs of infection such as redness and  warmth around  your incision, increased pain, or a fever greater than 100.4°.  Stitches or sutures normally dissolve within six  weeks following your surgery.  If abdominal clips or staples were used to close your incision, you should  schedule an appointment to have them removed within one to two weeks after your surgery.

You may use stool softeners, fiber supplements, and very mild laxatives as you are accustomed.  If you have trouble with bowel gas, you can try over-the-counter products such as simethicone or Gas-X.  Call our office if you have any   problems passing gas or having a bowel movement.

Do not resume sexual activity until after your post-operative check-up.

Your post-operative check-up appointment should be made when you are scheduling your surgery.  Post-operative check-ups are normally scheduled for two to six weeks after surgery.  If this is not done, call our office promptly after you are discharged from the hospital.  Specifics, such as returning to work, will be decided at this visit.   Make a list of questions to ask at your post-operative visit.

A division of Women's Care Center of Memphis, MPLLC.