Frequently asked questions

These are general recommendations for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical advice. Please contact your physician if you have questions related to your specific concerns.

Incision Care
Pain Management
Physical Concerns
Hygiene
Post-Surgery Follow-Up

Incision Care

When do my staples/stitches come out?
7 to 10 days post – surgery

When can I remove my bandages?
2 days after surgery, unless bandage is soaked. You will remove the bandage and clean the area with soap and water. Then, pat dry and apply a fresh bandage. This can be a Band-Aid® or gauze with tape.

Can I take my steristrips off?
When you shower, allow the steristrips to get wet. They will fall off on their own in 7-10 days.

My incision is draining, is this normal?
You will have drainage; however, the signs of infection are redness at the incision site (that spreads), incision feels hot, and drainage that has a foul odor. If this occurs please contact us.

Do/can I put antibacterial ointment on my incisions?
There is no need for this, unless directed otherwise by a physician assistant.

I have swelling on my incision. Is this normal?
This will occur; however, if you notice fever, redness or drainage with a foul odor please contact us.

I have blood on my bandages. Is this okay?
It is normal; however, if the flow is consistent and soaks your bandage is less than 15 minutes, please contact us.

My incision opened. What do I do?
Contact us as soon as possible.

I have a rash/blisters on or near my incision; what do I do?
Apply antibacterial ointment to the area and apply a non-adhesive bandage. Try not to agitate blisters.

Pain Management

I am having pain after surgery. Is this to be expected?
It is normal; however, if the pain doesn’t get better after taking pain medicaitons, please contact us.

When does my pain pump come out?
3 days after surgery. The nurse will show you how to remove it when you are discharged from the hospital.

Physical Concerns

I have a rash on my body. Is this normal?
This can occur from an allergic reaction to the medications. If this occurs, stop taking medications and start taking Benadryl as directed on bottle. Then contact us as soon as possible.

I have leg or arm pain with swelling. What do I do?
Contact us as soon as possible.

I am having fever. What should I do?
Contact us as soon as possible.

How long do I wear my abdominal binder after my hernia repair?
At least two weeks. You may remove it to shower.

What can I take for constipation?
Milk of Magnesia or stool softeners (we prefer you start taking stool softeners the day after surgery even if you are not constipated, to avoid constipation). It is common for patients not to have a bowel movement for 2 to 3 days after surgery.

What should I do if I’m having trouble urinating?
Contact us as soon as possible.

When does my drain come out?
It usually comes out 5 days after surgery. Call our office for an appointment to have it removed.

I have really bad gas; what can I take?
You can take Gas-X; however, patients who have laparoscopic surgery may experience trapped air in the shoulder. Shoulder movements may help relieve some of this pain. Walking also helps at times.

What can I take for diarrhea?
Kaopectate. If this doesn’t help in a 24-hour period please contact us.

I have mesh after a hernia repair. Is it normal for me to feel burning and pinching?
It is common, however if you notice redness, swelling, or fever please contact us.

I am having severe nausea. What can I do?
Some nausea is normal after surgery. However, if you are persistently having difficulty keeping liquids or solids down, contact us as soon as possible.

Hygiene

When can I shower?
You may shower the day after surgery.

When can I take a bath or go swimming?
Patients may not sit in a pool of water for 2 weeks from the day of surgery..

Post-Surgery Follow-Up

When do I need to follow up with the doctor after surgery?
Usually 2 weeks, unless directed otherwise by physician or assistant.

I had breast surgery and am waiting for my pathology report. When will I get the results?
Your surgeon typically recieves the report from pathology within 48 hours of the biopsy and will call the same day.