-Your activity may progress as tolerated.
-Do not lift anything over 20 pounds for 48 hours.
-Leave your dressing on for 24 hours, then remove it the second day after surgery (then you may shower).
-UNLESS instructed to leave it intact (if the port has been left “accessed” with the needle in place) to start chemotherapy in the next few days.
-The steristrips will start to peel up in 10–14 days, when you may take them off.
-Do not drive while taking narcotic pain medications.
-Resume your regular diet.
-Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after surgery or if taking narcotic pain medications.
-You may resume your previous medications.
-If you are on a blood thinner or aspirin, ask your doctor when you should resume taking it.
-A pain medication will be prescribed to use for the first few days. You may take Ibuprofen 400mg every 6 hours instead of or in addition to your prescribed pain medication. For less severe pain, you may take Extra-strength Tylenol every six hours rather than your prescribed pain medication. If you find that your pain medication may not be working for you, call our office and we will try to make changes in your medications over the phone by calling your local pharmacy.
-You may take a stool softener (1-4 tablets) for a week or two until your bowel habits have returned to normal.
Two most common difficulties:
-Pain: If you have post-operative pain, make sure you take the pain medication as prescribed. Some people get pain because they try to hold out and not take it for a while. Take it right away when the pain just begins — that is when pain medication works best.
-Constipation: A side effect of narcotic pain medication is constipation. You may use colace (over the counter) 1 tablet twice a day. Milk of magnesia may also be added to your regimen to help. You can take 1–2 tablespoons and repeat in four hours if you do not get results. Remember to stay hydrated and eat lots of fruits and vegetables (high fiber) or call the office for further guidance.
Follow Up Instructions
-Follow-up with your surgeon as directed. Please call the office for an appointment.
-Depending on what surgery was performed, you can return to work the following day. The port may be used immediately. Ask your oncologist (chemotherapy doctor) when you will start your infusions.
When to Notify the Physician
-Severe pain not relieved by pain medication.
-Fever or chills. Redness, heat or drainage from the incisions.
-Shortness of breath (proceed to your local emergency room).
Postoperative Check: If you have any questions or problems, do not hesitate to contact USA at (423) 267-0466.