Care After

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


  • It is normal to be sore for a few weeks following surgery. See your caregiver if your pain seems to be getting worse rather than better.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Avoid taking medicines that contain aspirin and ibuprofen because they increase the risk of bleeding.

  • Shower rather than bathe until instructed otherwise by your caregiver.

  • Change your bandages (dressings) as directed by your caregiver.

  • You may resume a normal diet and activities as directed by your caregiver.

  • Avoid lifting weight greater than 20 lb (9 kg) or participating in heavy exercise or contact sports for 10 days or as instructed by your caregiver.

  • Make an appointment to see your caregiver for stitch (suture) or staple removal.


  • You have increased bleeding from your wound.

  • You have redness, swelling, or increasing pain from your wound or in your neck.

  • There is pus coming from your wound.

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

  • There is a bad smell coming from the wound or dressing.

  • You develop lightheadedness or feel faint.

  • You develop numbness, tingling, or muscle spasms in your arms, hands, feet, or face.

  • You have difficulty swallowing.


  • You develop a rash.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You hear whistling noises that come from your chest.

  • You develop a cough that becomes increasingly worse.

  • You develop any reaction or side effects to medicines given.

  • There is swelling in your neck.

  • You develop changes in speech or hoarseness, which is getting worse.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.