After Surgery

It’s helpful to remind yourself that there will be some normal ups and downs after surgery.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you have excessive bleeding or pain, call Dr. Mosser at (415) 780-1515. You can reach Dr. Mosser day or night by calling the normal office line.

YOUR FIRST 24 HOURS: If you are going home, a family member or friend must drive you because you have been sedated. Someone should stay overnight with you. If you choose to go to a postoperative center, they will provide transportation. If you have any questions, please ask one of our nursing staff.

DRESSINGS: Keep your dressings as clean and dry as possible. Don’t remove them unless instructed to do so.

ACTIVITY: Take it easy and pamper yourself. Try to avoid any straining. You may go to the bathroom, sit and watch TV, etc., but NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU FEEL, DO NOT CLEAN THE HOUSE, REARRANGE THE ATTIC, ETC.! We do not want you to bleed and cause any more swelling and bruising than is unavoidable.

ICE PACKS: Cold or ice packs help to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Use frozen peas in the package or crush ice cubes and put the ice into a zip-lock bag. This should help, not hurt. If the ice feels uncomfortable, don’t use it as often. Before placing against the skin, put a cloth between your skin and the ice. Also, check the temperature on the back of your hand before placing it on the area you were operated on; sometimes you can inadvertently hurt your skin if you don’t check the temperature before placing it on the affected area.

SHOWERING: Do not shower until after the first visit with Dr. Mosser. He will take down your dressing, inspect the surgical area, and give you the go ahead to begin showering. Until that time, sponge bathe to keep clean. If you had a body or breast procedure, you may visit a hair salon to have your hair washed if you’d like.

DIET: If you have any postoperative nausea, carbonated sodas and dry crackers may settle the stomach. If nausea is severe, use the suppository. If you feel good, start with liquids and bland foods, and if those are well tolerated, progress to a regular diet. It is important that you avoid salt (sodium) during your recovery. Salt will increase your swelling and may prolong your recovery.

SMOKING: Smoking reduces capillary flow in your skin. We advise you not to smoke at all during the first 21 days after surgery.

ALCOHOL: Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and could increase postoperative bleeding. Don’t drink until you have stopped taking prescription pain pills, the combination of pain pills and alcohol can be dangerous.

DRIVING:  Don’t drive for at least 2 days after general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, and wait to drive until you have ceased taking prescription pain pills. It’s best to wait until you can drive comfortably and can maneuver a vehicle without any disruption to the area where you had surgery.