Postoperative care instructions

Thank you for choosing to have your surgery at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

We would like to provide you with information about your postoperative care so that you feel prepared once you are discharged from the hospital.

You will receive detailed postoperative instructions on the day of the surgery that are specific to your surgeon's practice. For anorectal surgeries this will include information about diet, stool softeners and fiber supplements, rectal care after bowel movements, drainage and bleeding after surgery, and your activity level.

  • We emphasized hand washing while you were here in the hospital, and we want you to continue that emphasis once you are home. If you or anyone else is touching the skin around the area of the incision, please be sure to wash your hands before and after contact. If you have an abdominal incision, you or a family member can check it regularly for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or abnormal drainage. If you experience any of these symptoms, or have a temperature higher than 101.5 degrees, please contact your surgeon's office immediately.
  • Nutrition and a healthy diet are essential to your recovery. If you are not on a fluid restriction, please drink lots of fluids after surgery. You should be eating a diet that is balanced and includes sources of protein for healing of muscle tissues. Please remember that this is NOT a time to think about losing weight as your body needs the calories for healing.
  • Another component of a healthy recovery, if you do not have activity restrictions from your surgeon, is to walk every day. Gradually increasing the amount and frequency you are walking will help with blood flow, prevent constipation and will help you prevent losing strength after surgery.
  • Please remember to never drive or operate machinery under the influence of narcotic pain relievers or muscle relaxants.
  • Please remember that if you need a refill of your postoperative pain medications, you must call your surgeon's office during regular business hours as you will not be able to request refills after hours or on weekends.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!