Abdominal Surgery Post-Operative Information
- Patients who undergo abdominal colorectal surgery will be admitted to the hospital after recovering from anesthesia in the recovery area
- The surgical team will see you on a daily basis
- You will be admitted to a post surgical floor.
- You will likely have a bladder catheter in place that will be removed within a few days after surgery
- Our goal is for you to get up and start walking on the evening of surgery and no later than the day after surgery
- Most patients are able to drink liquids immediately after surgery. Your surgeon will update you on diet changes during your hospital stay
You will be discharged with a prescription for pain medication as well as instructions in multi-modal pain control. Multi-modal pain control utilizes several different types of pain medications to adequately treat your pain.
Patients who are undergoing surgery for cancer or inflammatory bowel disease may be discharged with a prescription and instructions for a blood thinner that is given as a shot into your abdominal wall (Lovenox).
Bowel movements after abdominal colorectal surgery can be erratic. Constipation and diarrhea can both occur and will generally improve in time.
Most patients will not have difficulty urinating after surgery, though occasionally some patients may be discharged with a catheter that will be removed at a later date in clinic.
Patients are encouraged to be active and gradually increase their activity after surgery. You will be given instructions on specific activities to avoid.
Patients will be able to shower after 2 days after surgery. You will be given instructions on any dressing changes or wound care that needs to be done at home. Your surgeon may order home health care to assist with these dressing changes.
Please call your surgeon
- Pain that is increasing and not well controlled
- Fever of greater than 101°F
- New rectal bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Discharge of pus or blood from your incisions
You can drive when you are comfortable enough to do so and are no longer taking narcotic pain medications.
Return to work varies depending on your procedure. Discuss this with your doctor. Most patients will need to take some time off of work to recover.
Most patients will need someone to stay with them and assist them at home for several days after surgery.