After you have had your pelvic surgery, there are a variety of steps that need to be taken to make sure that you recover as fully and quickly as possible.
1. What you should eat: When you go home you will be eating a regular diet or what ever specific diet may be needed for any medical condition that you have (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) It will take a while for your intestines to completely recover, therefore we recommend that you : a) eat multiple small meals, b) avoid hot, spicy, and fatty foods, c) east lots of fruits, vegetables, and high bulk foods. If there are any other special restrictions or guidelines, your doctor will inform you prior to your discharge.
2. What you should drink: It is very important that you stay adequately hydrated after the surgery. Therefore, we recommend that you drink at least 3 quarts of liquid a day. You should try to drink more in the early part of the day (before the end of the afternoon) so that you don't have to get up to go to the bathroom at night.
3. What you should do: When you go home you will be walking around, probably without assistance. It is important that you be as active as possible to avoid infections, blood clots, and slow intestinal recovery. Don't just sit in the chair and watch TV!! You can climb steps, walk outside, go to Services, go shopping, etc. You cannot drive a car or lift anything more than 25 pounds. If you were doing regular aerobic exercises, you should not restart them until your doctor tells you that it is OK to do such. Most women can resume normal sexual relations in about 6 weeks after the surgery.
4. Discharge Medications: You will be going home on some specific medications.
These include a pain medication, a stool softener, and any other medications that your physician feels may be needed. Make sure that you re-read the instructions on the medication bottles and take them the way that they are prescribed. You also should continue to take the medications that you were taking prior to being admitted to the hospital.
5. Return Visits: You will need to return to see your surgeon about one week to 10 days after your surgery. At that time, you will have your incision checked, any questions that you may have will be answered, and you will be given instructions as to what more you physically can do (like drive a car). We usually request that patients return again in about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery for their final post-operative visit. This may be changed if there are any problems with healing.
6. Returning to Work: How soon you can return to work will depend upon what type of surgery you had and how quickly you recover. Most people who don't have a large abdominal incision can return to work about 2 weeks after surgery. Women who have a large incision usually take about 4 weeks to recover before they are ready to go back to work. Remember these are just general guidelines and your doctor will discuss the specifics with you when you return for your post-operative visits.