After Discharge from Hospital

Wound care

All the wounds are closed with stitches, commonly dissolvable stitches, under the skin and therefore nothing needs to be done to these after the operation. There are other ways of closing the skin, such as staples or glue.

In general, each of the wound is covered with a waterproof dressing which, where possible to keep intact for five days. The waterproof dressings are shower proof, if care is taken not to disturb these, but will come off in a hot bath. It is suggested that you get into a hot bath on day five and gently remove the dressings and leave the wound open to the air. If they rub on your clothing you may find it more comfortable to put a small Elastoplast dressing over each wound. If you have any worries about your wounds, you should contact your General Practitioner. If you have glue then you can have a shower the following day and a bath four days after the procedure and the glue will dissolve/ disappear over the coming weeks. Stitches and staples in the skin are usually removed between days 7 and 10.


Avoid strenuous activity, the duration would depend on the type of operation, in general 4-6 weeks. That said, it is important to be reasonably mobile and try to get back gently but regularly in to the routine activities. Lying for prolonged periods in bed or on a sofa is not recommended. Inactivity may increase risk of a blood clot and prolong recovery.

Pain relief

You are likely to have been prescribed pain killers. Do take these as prescribed. It is important not to suffer pain killers or be overly stoic and suffer unnecessary hardship. Some pain killers may contain medication that cause drowsiness, do not operate machinery or drive a car in that case.


Medication, including pain killers and anaesthesia and certain types of operation may increase the likelihood of nausea and vomiting. There are effective medication to prevent nausea and the discharge team usually dispense these at the time of discharge. It may help to take smaller meals, read the instructions when taking new medications and when nausea is experienced to take the anti-nausea medication on a more regular basis.

Diet and regulating bowel

Take a healthy diet, it may be helpful to take small portions at more regular intervals initially. There are no big do’s and don’ts, but it is helpful to avoid constipation by keeping oneself well hydrated, mobile and taking vegetables, salad and fruits, as appropriate. At times, it is necessary to take laxatives, especially when taking regular pain killers.

Royal College of Surgeons American College of Surgeons University of Liverpool Mayo Clinic