What happens after surgery

What happens after surgery

A blog by one of our full time nurses

Your surgery day comes and goes. Now you are home with copious questions about “what now?”

Quite often, patients are so excited about having their life-changing procedure that a lot of their questions are focused on the Do’s and don’ts prior to surgery, less on the aftercare.

After 8 years of inclusively looking after our surgical patients, I have put together a small list of common and frequently asked questions regarding the post-op do’s and don’ts. Patients are provided with a written guideline of post-operative instructions, but one must remember that every surgical procedure is unique, and each patient’s pain and healing timelines will vary.

When can I return to work?

This is dependent on many factors, type of job, procedure and the patient’s healing. This time frame can range from 1 week to 4 weeks, but some patients might require additional modified duties for up to 6 weeks if their job is very physical. 

How long do I have to wear the surgical garment?

Surgical bras or abdominal binders are worn typically for up to 3 weeks post op.

When can I resume my physical activity and workouts? 

Even if surgical incisions look well-healed on the outside, there is still a lot of healing that’s happening behind the scenes. As a general rule, we like to see our patients at 6 weeks before giving the green light for them to resume life as it was prior to surgery. As well, as every week progresses, we encourage patients to gradually increase their physical activity.

When can I put this new body in a bathing suit and hit the beach, pool or hot tub?

Five to six weeks! I know, an eternity! Surgical incisions must be healed in their entirety, including any tiny open areas. Some pretty serious infections can be acquired from communal pools and hot tubs, so it’s worth the wait!

Sexual Activity?

This is a question that most patients wonder about but often don’t ask. It’s just another form of physical activity, and our general rule is basic. Wait until you feel well, (approx. 3-4 weeks) and always listen to your body.  Different positions can be used to avoid pressure on the surgical area.

I could go on forever with answers to post-operative questions, but I will stop here. We strive to support all of our patients from the day you come in for your initial consultation to the last follow-up visit you have with us. Saying this, we encourage all of our patients to reach out with ANY concerns or questions at any time throughout their surgical journey. The nursing staff here is a resource and support!
Nurse Rose