As mentioned in the hospital section of this aftercare section, you will head home between one and three days after surgery, depending on the procedure you undergo. Heading home is an exciting time and the beginning of the next phase of your health and life. However, it could also be very scary because you don’t have medical professionals around you 24/7. However, if you follow your discharge packet carefully, your recovery at home should be uneventful and smooth.
First, before surgery, you should ensure that you have someone to take you home. You will not be able to drive in the first several days after surgery due to anesthesia and then possible impairment as a result of any narcotic pain medication if you need it. This person or someone else close to you should also help with the small chores around the house and grocery shopping for at least several days after surgery.
During the early part of recovery – up to eight weeks from the day of surgery, you should not be lifting any more than 10 or so pounds. This is to allow both the internal and external healing process to run its course. During this time, you should also avoid strenuous activity and ideally avoid climbing stairs. Sometimes, these activities maybe inevitable, in which case you should perform them carefully.
You will not be able to drive for up to a week after surgery you are on narcotic pain medication, which will prevent you from driving safely. Further, emergency braking requires significant core strength, which may be painful to engage in the first week or so after surgery. Therefore, we suggest that you be driven around until cleared by Dr. Higa.
You should also avoid submerging your body in water for the first few weeks after surgery. This would be a bath or going in the swimming pool, for example. Showers are typically fine a few days after surgery. Your discharge packet will tell you exactly when you can shower and how best to manage your wound care.
Each day, you should try to walk as much as you can without over stressing your body or causing any pain. More details can be read in the exercise section of this aftercare overview.
As with all post-operative considerations, if you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our office and speak to a team member. We are here to help make your recovery is smooth as possible.