What to expect after your operation
Immediately after your procedure you will spend ½ to 1 hour in the Recovery Area. Here you will be monitored as you wake from anaesthesia and you will be given any pain relief you may need.
When you are awake and comfortable you will be moved back to your bed in the ward (if you are to stay overnight) or to the Day Surgery recovery area until you are ready to go home.
Over the next few days…
You will usually have a surgical dressing over the wound site. You may remove this dressing 3 days after being discharged from hospital. There will also be paper tapes securing the wound together. These need to stay in place for 5 days after your procedure. After this time you may remove these paper tapes.
For most operations we use stitches that will automatically dissolve. The time these take to dissolve depends on the type of stitches used. You may be able to feel stitches at the end of your excision; they may feel like fishing line. This is perfectly normal but be sure not to pull on these.
Any operation causes some discomfort while your body heals. The first 48 hours will be the most uncomfortable and taking regular pain relief will make things more comfortable for you. You may be given a script for pain relief as you leave hospital. Use these as directed.
If you haven’t been given a prescription upon discharge from hospital, pain relief in the form of Paracetamol (e.g. Panadol) is normally sufficient. Occasionally we may prescribe a stronger medication for breakthrough pain. These are usually a narcotic based drug. If your pain is not relieved by either Paracetamol or your prescription medication, call our rooms for further advice.
Over the next few weeks…
Remember – you’ve had an operation. Be gentle on yourself and don’t be surprised if it takes some time for your energy levels to get back to normal. The more involved your operation then the longer it will take to feel 100%.
It takes 4-6 weeks to fully heal the tissues at your operation site hence the reason your surgeon will generally see you for your post-operative appointment 4-6 weeks after your procedure. As with energy levels, the larger the operation, then the longer it will take for your wound to feel normal. Taking any medication your surgeon has recommended will make things go much more smoothly.
Many people exercise strenuously and regularly e.g. going to the gym or running. Ask your surgeon if you need to limit the activity you would normally enjoy. Gym work, running etc. can put excessive strain on healing tissues and jeopardise the success of your procedure.