Removal of the Colon (Colectomy)

Care After

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery area where a nurse will watch you and check your progress. After the recovery area you will go to your hospital room. Your surgeon will determine when it is alright for you to take fluids and foods. You will be given pain medications to keep you comfortable.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Once home, an ice pack applied to the operative site may help with discomfort and keep swelling down.

  • Change dressings as directed.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • You may continue normal diet and activities as directed.

  • There should be no heavy lifting (more than 10 pounds), strenuous activities or contact sports for three weeks, or as directed.

  • Keep the wound dry and clean. The wound may be washed gently with soap and water. Gently blot or dab dry following cleansing, without rubbing. Do not take baths, use swimming pools, or use hot tubs for ten days, or as instructed by your caregivers.

  • If you have a colostomy, care for it as you have been shown.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • There is redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound area.

  • Pus is coming from the wound.

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops.

  • You notice a foul smell coming from the wound or dressing.

  • There is a breaking open of a wound (edges not staying together) after the sutures have been removed.

  • There is increasing abdominal pain.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • A rash develops.

  • There is difficulty breathing, or development of a reaction or side effects to medications given.