Post-Operative Restrictions

If surgery was the best treatment plan for your medical condition, the medical team at Atlantic Urogynecology Associates recommends the following information regarding your post-operative care:

Surgical Discharge Instructions: 12-Week Limitations
After undergoing successful extensive pelvic surgery, it takes approximately 12 weeks for the
tissues that have been operated on to heal back to 80 percent of their eventual strength. It may
take up to six months to achieve 90 percent wound strength and full wound strength will not be
achieved until two years. We recommend that our patients be restricted in their activity for 12 weeks
following major surgery. If you are only having a sling for urinary continence, you only need to follow these restrictions for six weeks.

These restrictions include:

  • Use a stool softener for 12 weeks so that you do not need to strain at the time of bowel movements
  • Limit activity and not allow any exercise except walking, which is storngly encouraged. Anything that increases the pressure within your abdominal cavity will tend to tear down the repair prematurely
  • Refrain from lifting anything heavier than about eight pounds (or a gallon of milk)
  • Avoid swimming, biking and aerobics. You should not be carrying groceries, the laundry basket, or vacuum cleaner. If you need to reach something on the floor, you should either sit down in a chair and scoop it up or slowly bend down on your knees to pick up the object.
  • Routine activities such as getting dressed and shaving legs are fine. It is also fine to climb stairs as long as you take it slow.

In addition to the stool softener, you may or may not have been given medications for pain or hormone replacement. In addition to these, resume all of your medications unless we advise you otherwise.

Leaving the Hospital
It is possible that you will leave the hospital with a catheter in your bladder. If so, our nurse will remove the catheter several days after you leave the hospital. This visit is called a "voiding trial." In addition, we would like to have you come back to the office in about two weeks for an initial post-operative visit. We will then see you again at six weeks after surgery. We believe that you will have the best possible chance of healing well after surgery. This is the best way to achieve a good, long-lasting successful repair of your medical condition.

It is a typical scenario that when you are first at home, not every day will be a good day. You may be more fatigued than you were prior to surgery, and it is possible that you do not have the usual stamina. This should resolve over the next four to six weeks. During the first weeks after surgery, some people become depressed. If you notice this happening, and it does not seem to be resolving on its own, you should contact our office and let us know.

In addition, if you have any questions about your medication, or if there is any problem with your wound - excessive pain or a fever, or trouble emptying your bladder after the catheter is removed - you should contact our office immediately.