Post Operative Care and Instructions
Now your operation has been done and you’re going home. That’s great ! There are still a few things you need to be aware of to ensure that your recovery is complete and trouble free, including your post operative care programme.
Firstly make sure you have a post operative care follow up appointment which is of no charge to you. Ideally this should have been made at your pre surgical appointment but if there is any doubt ring our office to confirm or book.
Next wound care. If you have dissolving or absorbable stitches then you will not need to see a doctor to remove them however it is important to keep the wound clean and dry and if there are any concerns with redness, swelling, discharge or pain in excess of expected to seek medical care promptly. This could be in our clinic or if after hours with your GP or Emergency Department (24 hours a day). Early attention to minor problems will avoid development of a major complication. If you have non absorbable sutures then you will need to have them removed with either your surgeon or GP.
Rehabilitation/physical therapy. This can be arranged at the time of discharge and may be either as an inpatient or outpatient depending on you home circumstances and support.
Pain relief. You will be prescribed a limited (3 day) supply of medications for pain relief with the expectation that your wound pain will improve daily and that only Panadol or anti inflammatory will be required. Further medication will need to be supplied by your GP.
Driving a vehicle. You will need to discuss this specifically with you surgeon depending on your exact surgery as there are legal restrictions particularly with intracranial surgery. Note also you cannot safely drive while taking short acting opioid (morphine like) medications as you may have impairment of consciousness or judgement.
GP appointment. It is a good idea to schedule a follow up appointment with your GP following surgery as they are your regular health care provider, will have correspondence about your admission and will be able to facilitate your post operative recovery with assistance from your surgeon.
Return to work/sick and carer certificates/Workcover. Ask your surgeon about this during your inpatient stay. We can also attend to this during your post operative visit which is probably preferable if you are seeking a definitive medical clearance to return to normal physical work duties.