Major Surgery Post-Operative Instructions

This page details the instructions you need to know following any of our major surgical procedures.

Unless your physician tells you otherwise, upon your arrival home, call Lifestages (277-8988) for an appointment approximately 4 weeks from the day of your surgery.


  • No stairs the first week after surgery. If necessary, you may use the steps once in the morning and once in the evening for going to the bathroom and your bed.
  • Wait 10 days after you are discharged from the hospital before riding in the car or walking outside. Avoid extended trips and shopping.
  • After 2 weeks of leisure, gradually resume household activities. A daily nap is important.
  • No straining, pulling or lifting anything weighing more than 5 pounds.
  • No driving before your 2- to 4-week check-up. You may drive yourself to Lifestages for that check-up. DO NOT DRIVE WHILE TAKING PAIN MEDICATION.
  • When considering postoperative activities, use common sense.


  • No sexual intercourse, douching or tampons until after your postoperative check-up.
  • No tub baths until after your postoperative appointment; however, you may shower or kneel in a tub of water.
  • If you are constipated, please wait a few days after you get home and have resumed your normal diet, some activity and are drinking several glasses of water daily, before notifying the physician. You may take 2 to 4 tablets or 2 tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia followed by several glasses of water for relief.


  • If you go home with sutures, please call Lifestages (277-8988) upon your arrival home to make an appointment to have them removed within 1 week.
  • If you go home with steri-strips on your incision, remove them 6 days from the day of application.
  • Gently wash your incision with soap and water. Pat dry.
  • Hysterectomy patients often pass sutures vaginally during the first month.
  • Vaginal discharge and spotting are normal.

Call Lifestages (277-8988) immediately if you have:

  • A temperature of 101┬░ or higher
  • Constant, severe pain not relieved by rest
  • Bleeding (saturating a sanitary napkin every hour or passing large clots)
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • A persistent, foul-smelling discharge
  • Severe constipation unrelieved by a suppository or laxatives