Pain: Over the counter medication i.e. paracetamol/ibuprofen should give adequate pain relief so ensure you have a supply at home. Many surgeons advise that they are taken regularly (i.e. 4-6 hourly as per the instructions) for the first 48hrs following surgery, then continued as required.
There may be some bruising at the operation site. This is entirely normal and will gradually go down. (If bruising/swelling increases rapidly within hours of surgery and is associated with dizziness/light headedness inform your GP).
You may notice that there is a numb area below the wound. In most cases these sensations will gradually return, but sometimes a small area of numbness remains.
Diet: You may eat and drink normally.
Mobility: This is very important. Try to remain physically active. If you feel tired you should sit down and put your feet up for short periods and not go to bed during the day. This will improve circulation in your legs and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis – DVT.
Hygiene: Shower rather than bath for the first 10 days – the dressing provided should be waterproof but check with your local hospital.
Wounds: Methods of wound closure vary depending on your surgeon. Sutures are normally dissolvable and you should be able to remove any steri-strips (“butterfly stitches”) yourself at 7 days. Do not change the dressings unless they have become very blood stained, in which case you should also let your GP or surgical team know. Wounds should appear clean, dry and healing. If you are in doubt seek advice from your GPs practice nurse.
As you recover you will be able to increase your activities. You will be able to return to work within one to two weeks but if your job involves heavy lifting it may be up to six weeks before you can return to work. You should discuss this with your consultant.
You may drive as soon as you are able to drive safely without impairment to your reaction time or ability to think clearly (normally 48hrs). It is always a good idea to check with your insurance provider.