Once you have left hospital you may be a little
uncertain about what to expect. The following advice will hopefully
help, although it is important to note that if the advice given to
you by your consultant or GP differs from the following guidelines,
then you should follow your consultant or GP’s instructions instead.
Becoming mobile again
amount of daily exercise may be of benefit. Try just a short walk,
increasing the distance gradually. Climbing stairs is a useful
exercise and is also a good way to judge your progress. Some people
find it easier to go up backwards on their bottom for the first few
times. You should experiment and see which method you are most
It is perfectly normally to feel tired and rather vulnerable in
your first few weeks at home. You may also feel frustration at not
being able to do all the things you want.
You should avoid all strenuous and taxing jobs immediately after
treatment. Only when you feel up to it should you attempt small
When you resume driving, you should first check with your
insurance company that you are still covered in your present
condition. If you are, then start with short journeys and slowly
increase the distance, but remember your movement and strength must
be up to coping with emergency stops as well as normal driving.
All wounds progress
through several noticeable stages. Depending on your treatment you
may experience such sensations as tingling, numbness and itching.
You may also feel a slight pulling around the stitches and a hard
lump forming. These are perfectly normal developments and are a part
of the healing process. However, if a wound starts swelling or
discharging then you should seek medical advice.
Due to lack of activity you
may experience a loss of appetite or even suffer from indigestion.
Small meals taken regularly can help to alleviate both symptoms. If
you have lost your appetite then milky drinks can provide you with a
good source of energy and goodness.
Unless otherwise advised,
it is quite safe to get your wound wet 2 or 3 days after your
operation, though any dressing on your wound should be removed
Going to the toilet
in diet, the change in level of activity and the prescription of
medication can lead to irregular bowel habits. This is perfectly
normal and the problem should correct itself in time. If you are
suffering from constipation, you can help yourself by eating a high
fibre diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. When going to
the toilet you should try to avoid straining, particularly after
abdominal surgery, so it might be helpful to have a mild laxative.