Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. If you have any problems or questions after your procedure, call your caregiver.


  • Activity should be limited to "bed to chair" transfers for 24 hours after surgery or as directed. Gradually increase activity as instructed.

  • When lying down or sleeping, keep your head and knees raised (elevated). Your head should be elevated on pillows and your legs elevated. This will decrease tension on the incision line (where you were cut).

  • Do not stand straight up for the first 3 to 7 days. This will help decrease tension on the incision line.

  • Do not drive until you have a follow-up visit and you are no longer taking prescription pain medicine.

  • You may need help with getting in and out of bed and to the bathroom for the first few days.


You may restart your normal diet as instructed by your caregiver.


  • Do not shower until your caregiver says it is okay to do so.

  • You may sponge bathe.

  • You may wash your hair with help by bending forward over a sink.


You may feel some abdominal discomfort. You will be given a prescription for pain medicine. Please follow your caregiver's instructions when taking pain medicine. If your pain is not relieved by the pain medicine or the pain becomes worse, call your caregiver.


  • Your incision has staples or sutures (stitches). These will be removed in the caregiver's office during your follow-up.

  • Do not put any lotions or ointments on the incision unless directed to do so by your caregiver.

  • A compression garment is to be worn continuously for weeks after your surgery. You may remove the compression garment to check the incision site or for sponge baths. Be sure to put the compression garment back on. If the compression garment becomes soiled, call your caregiver for instructions.


  • Sometimes a drain is placed in the incision site to drain extra fluid. If you go home with a drain, you will be shown how to empty and reset the drain. Empty the drain as told by your caregiver.

  • Keep a record of the amount of fluid that is emptied from the drain. Bring this record with you to your follow-up appointment.


  • You have unusual or increased swelling around your incision site.

  • You have redness in the abdominal area or around the incision site.

  • You have drainage that is yellow or green in color, or has a bad odor coming from your incision site.

  • You have a large amount of drainage coming from your incision site.

  • Your incision line looks like it is pulling apart.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).