Post-Operative Discharge Instructions


You may resume a regular diet unless otherwise instructed.


*Normal activity may be resumes as tolerated including stair climbing.

  • No lifting more than 10 pounds for 4-6 weeks after major abdominal surgery.
  • Driving may resume one day after outpatient surgery and 1-2 weeks after major surgery if not taking any narcotics.
  • If a hysterectomy was performed, nothing in the vagina for 8 weeks
  • You may swim or use the hot tub 3-4 weeks after a hysterectomy. You may shower, but no bathing for 1-2 weeks. Walking is encouraged.
  • No exercise for 2 weeks if laparoscopic procedure or 6 weeks if major abdominal surgery was performed.

Wound Care

The stiches will dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed. The wounds may ooze a small amount of yellowish fluid for several days. The incision is held together by a suture under the skin for the first few days. As this dissolves, you may notice a piece of suture coming from the incision. You may trim it with small scissors if you desire. The incision will feel firm or lumpy for several months and itching is part of the normal healing process. There also may be bruising and swelling around the incision(s). If small paper strips were placed on the incision, you may remove them after one week. There may be swelling into the vulva from surgery. A cold pack may be applied for comfort.


Resume all medications you took before surgery unless directed otherwise at the time of discharge. Use your pain medication as directed on the bottle. You may also try Tylenol or Ibuprofen for mild pain relief.


After a hysterectomy, you may notice spotting or vaginal discharge with a slight odor for up to 8 weeks. This is usually caused by the stitches dissolving. It may be intermittent.


Constipation is frequently a problem after major surgery and the use of narcotics. You may use any natural supplement or over-the-counter medications such as MiraLAX®, Colace®, Milk of Magnesia, Dulcolax® tabs, or Fleets enemas.

If you develop severe pain, unusual redness extending away from the incision, red streaks, swelling, warmth of the incision, heavy bleeding more than one pad per hour, or elevated temperature above 101 degrees, contact the office at (303) 781-9090.