Going HOME after Gynecology Oncology Surgery
How to reach us, when to call
When to Call Your Doctor
- Fever over 100.4°F for two readings taken 4 hours apart.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Signs of infection such as redness, swelling, warmth or drainage.
- Problems with pain control.
- Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one sanitary napkin in one hour.
- Constipation—no bowel movement for 3 or more days
Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm call: (608) 263-1548
After 5:00 pm, Nights and Weekends, please call (608) 262-0486. This is the paging operator. Ask for the GYN doctor on call. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
Toll free: 1-800-323-8942
Other common concerns
If you are bothered by nausea or vomiting, you might want to try one of the following.
- Eat small, frequent meals rather than large ones.
- Drink liquids an hour before or after a meal rather than with your meal.
- Avoid foods that are fatty, fried, or very spicy.
- Eat and drink slowly.
- After eating, rest in a chair. Don't lie flat for a few hours after you eat.
Weakness and fatigue are common after you go home. It is vital to stay active, get up each day, and get dressed. Limit yourself over the next 4 to 6 weeks since you may not have your normal strength. It is fine to go out in public (shop, attend church) but avoid people who are sick.
You should avoid heavy exercise and lifting greater than 15 pounds for 6 weeks. Try walking to preserve and regain your strength.
You may have bleeding like a light period.
If you have staples in place, these will be removed 10 to 14 days after you go home. They may be taken out by your local doctor or by your surgeon.
You can start driving again when you have stopped taking narcotic pain pills and are sure that you can control the car quickly if needed.
Do not have sexual intercourse, douche, use tampons, or insert anything into the vagina for 6 weeks - this is called pelvic rest.
If you were taking blood pressure, diabetes, heart or other medicines before surgery, resume taking these unless your doctor told you not to.
If you have pain you can use the pain pills prescribed at the time of discharge or Tylenol® 650-1000 mg every 4 hours or Advil® 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours. If you were prescribed Percocet®, do not take Tylenol® along with this.
Elimination: Bowel movements and urination
You may have a hard time with bowel movements after you go home. Some pain pills can cause constipation. If needed, take a stool softener (such as Colace®) 100mg once or twice daily. You can buy this without a doctor's order at the drugstore. If you have no bowel movement within 48 to 72 hours after going home, try taking the laxative Senokot-S®. This can also be bought without a doctor's order. Take 2 Senokot-S® tablets by mouth twice a day. You may increase your dose to 4 tablets twice a day if you don't have a bowel movement after the first two doses. Once you have had a bowel movement, stop or decrease the Senokot-S® and keep taking the Colace®. Call the doctor's office if you have not had a bowel movement within 72 hours after going home.
If you have burning or frequent urination or feel that you must go again soon, you may have a bladder infection and you should call our office or your doctor.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #6236.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/19/2011
Copyright © 05/19/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5628
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