What can you expect after surgery?

You will drink water and eat healthy foods as soon as you can after surgery. Your care team will urge you to sit up in a chair while you eat.

The doctor or nurse will encourage you to get up and walk as soon as you can. The more you can move, or at least sit up in a chair, the better.

Your doctor may give you a shot of medicine. This is to block the pain from the affected area of your body. You may also be given medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If opioids are used, your doctor will give you the lowest dose for the shortest possible time. Opioids can make your recovery harder. And they can be less safe than other medicines.

Recovery Guidelines:

After your procedure you need to carefully return to your normal activities. These are general guidelines, but your doctor may modify them to suit your particular situation:

  • Don’t drive for two days.
  • Don’t lift more than 10 pounds for one week. (A gallon of milk is about 10 pounds.)
  • Don’t exercise for one week.
  • Don’t have sex for one week.

The evening of your procedure, we will ask you to start walking. In most cases, you can return to office work in two to three days.

Safe and Effective Pain Management:

Safe pain control is the use of medication and other therapies to control pain with the least amount of side effects.

Your surgical team will work with you to:

- Screen for current opioid use and risk for overuse

- Use alternatives to opioids whenever possible

- Educate you about:

  • Using the lowest dose of opioids for the shortest amount of time
  • Safely getting rid of any unused opioids
  • Knowing the signs of opioid overdose

Pain Control After Surgery Guide: 

How Painful Am I Feeling?What medication may I use to feel better?
Mild Pain
  • My pain is barely noticeable, and it has little impact on my daily activities.
  • I am aware of my pain, which distracts me, yet I can still move around (sit up, walk, stand).
  • Non-medication therapies
  • Non-opioid oral medications - You may take these to control mild to moderate pain when needed
Moderate Pain
  • Even when I rest, my discomfort is harder to ignore and gets worse.
  • My pain keeps me from doing the things I usually do.
  • Non-medication therapies
  • Non-opioid drugs - You can be instructed to take them consistently throughout the day as opposed to only as necessary.
Severe Pain
  • I am not performing my everyday tasks because I have to deal with my pain.
  • My body is writhing in agony, and I can't sleep. I have no power to take action.
  • Nothing else matters since my suffering is at its worst.
  • Non-medication therapies
  • Continually available non-opioid medicines
  • Opioids that effect quickly (for a few days)
  • If your discomfort persists, call your surgeon.