Do’s and Don’ts – Preparing for your surgery

  • DO try to stay fit and healthy prior to your surgery as this can help greatly with your recovery
  • DO try to give up smoking or at least reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke leading up to your admission
  • DON’T forget to organize for a family member or friend to help look after your children while you are in hospital and recovering
  • DON’T eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your booked surgery time. If you need to take any medications, you can have a small sip of water with them

Note: Bowel preps or enemas are no longer routinely given prior to surgery as current evidence suggests that this is not necessary. You will be advised at your pre-operation consultation whether you need to have one.

Do’s and Don’ts – After your surgery

The nursing staff on the wards will assist you with all your post-operation care.

  • DO try to move around or mobilize as soon as you can as this helps with your recovery
  • DO take some simple analgesics (pain-killers) such as paracetamol and / or anti-inflammatory medication for the first day (and second day) after you get home if you have any pain or discomfort. Otherwise, the pain or discomfort will keep you from mobilising thus slow down your recovery
  • DO keep your wound clean. You may shower or bathe, but make sure that you gently pat the area dry after washing to discourage infection
  • DO try to refrain from sexual intercourse for at least six weeks after your surgery. This will help with the healing process and decrease the incidence of infection
  • DO try to rest as much as you can after an operation as this can help greatly with your recovery. However, it remains important to keep active without straining and mobilize; these will decrease the chance of you developing a blood clot (also known as a ‘deep vein thrombosis’ or DVT)
  • DO eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water (about two litres per day is recommended) to aid in your recovery
  • DON’T worry if you experience a little redness around your wound. However, if the redness increases, your wound becomes hot to the touch, or has a smelly discharge, please see your general practitioner in case you have an infection in your wound
  • DON’T worry if you notice some vaginal bleeding after your operation. This can be quite normal. However, if it gets heavier or is like a heavy period, then please contact us so that you can be assessed
  • DON’T lift anything heavier than two kilograms for six weeks (e.g. a jug of water) following your operation to allow optimal healing of your wound.

Driving

  • If you had laparoscopy (keyhole surgery), you should not drive a vehicle for 2 to 4 weeks depending on the surgery performed. You will be advised at your pre-operation consultation
  • If you had a laparotomy (open surgery), you should not drive a vehicle for 4 to 6 weeks depending on the surgery performed. You will be advised at your pre-operation consultation.