After your surgery
Recovering from surgery
Recovery takes time. It's important to follow the post-operative instructions specific to your procedure. These instructions are included in the handouts we provided prior to your surgery. Please call us if you need another handout.
Many patients will not have a strong appetite after surgery. Try eating smaller, lighter and more frequent meals. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Use your anti-nausea prescription as needed. If you are still experiencing nausea or vomiting, please call our office.
Many patients also feel fatigued after surgery. Make sure to get plenty of rest and listen to your body. Mild exercise will help with the healing process, so make an effort to take a leisurely walk around your home or outside each day. Depending on the type of operation you had, it can take anywhere from one to three months to return to your previous energy level.
Remember to take your prescribed pain medications as directed. Typically, patients are sent home with either Percocet or Vicodin and Ibuprofen. Discontinue any other pain medications you may have at home, unless you have discussed these additional prescriptions with your physician. If your pain does not subside, discuss your options with your doctor.
After you arrive home, a nurse will contact you to ask how your recovery is progressing and to schedule follow-up care. Please remember that pathology reports take time to process accurately. We will contact you as soon as we know your results and can schedule an appointment for you and your doctor to discuss the pathology report.
Most procedures require a post-operative check-up with your surgeon or our physician assistant. Follow-up care is dependent on your individual circumstances, and our nurses will organize that for you when they call you after surgery.
When to call the doctor
For both urgent and non-urgent issues during business hours, please call our office at 206-368-6806, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. After hours, on weekends or on holidays, please listen to our phone recording, which will help you contact the answering service. The answering service will page the doctor on call, who will respond to you within 30 minutes. We encourage you to write down your concerns before calling so you don't forget to tell us anything. Please also have your pharmacy name and number available. Please keep in mind that depending on the nature of your call, you may be instructed to go to the emergency room.
Call if you:
- Have a fever above 101.5 degrees, and/or "shaking chills"
- Are having difficulty urinating, signs of a urinary tract infection
- Have had no bowel movement for more than 3 days
- Are vomiting after eating
- Notice your incision is draining yellow/green fluid, is red like a sunburn and spreading, has increased in swelling or tenderness
- Experience abnormal vaginal discharge that is foul smelling and yellow/green in color
- Experience vaginal bleeding that is bright red in color and more than just spotting
- Feel an increase or sudden onset of severe pain
- Have any reaction to your pain medications such as a rash, itching or severe nausea
- You have chest pain and trouble breathing
- You are having heavy vaginal bleeding that is bright red
- If you are unable to urinate on your own
Seek care immediately if: