Your Recovery from Surgery: After Going Home
Your nurse will give you detailed instructions that will help you once you go home. We offer some general suggestions in this section.
Call your doctor if:
- You have any unusual events that cause you concern.
- You have severe chills or fever over 100.4 F.
- You have fainting spells.
- Your surgery site looks red, feels hot or swollen, or has unusual drainage.
- You have a reaction to the medication you are taking.
- You have severe or continuing pain that medication does not help.
- You have persistent nausea or vomiting.
- You have very heavy vaginal bleeding or vaginal discharge that has a foul odor.
- You notice a lot of blood in your urine.
- You have burning when passing urine or notice your urine has a foul odor.
- You have to urinate a lot more than normal.
- You have higher than normal blood sugar readings if you have diabetes. Consider checking your blood sugar levels more often the first two weeks after surgery.
- If you have had urological surgery and you have unusual bladder fullness, your catheter is not draining urine when opened or you are not able to urinate once your catheter is removed.
- If you have had breast surgery and you have trouble moving your arm or doing the exercises for your arm and shoulder, call Woman's Center for Wellness at 225-924-8450.
- Your doctor will give you written prescriptions as needed.
- Resuming medications that you took before surgery will be discussed on an individual basis.
- You may take stool softeners and laxatives as needed. Examples of stool softeners that you can buy at a drug store include these brands: Senokot, Surfak, and Pericolase.
- If you have a sore throat, use nonprescription lozenges.
Dealing With Your Feelings
Adjusting to changes in your body and its ability to function can be a difficult process. After surgery you may have feelings of depression, anger, sadness, or a sense of loss. If you had a hysterectomy or oophorectomy (your ovaries removed), some of these feelings may be due to changes in your hormones.
Suggestions to help manage your feelings:
- Ask your doctor or social worker for advice on dealing with your feelings.
- Learn more about your condition. The Internet may provide opportunities to “chat” with other women who are in the same situation. However, make sure the Internet sources you use are trustworthy. Federal government sites are good places to get health information.
- Talk about your feelings with your partner or other family members.
- Ask your health care provider for information on a possible support group for patients with a condition like yours. The Social Services department at Woman’s Hospital will provide resources and referrals for counseling, if needed. Call 225-924-8456