Post Operative Patient Information for Outpatient Rectal Surgery Cases at the Surgicenter

When you feel like eating, start with clear liquids (water, tea, ginger ale, Jell-O, broth, etc.). Later in the day you may progress to full liquids (juice, milk, creamed soups) and then to soft foods as desired. You may eat a normal diet on the day following surgery.

Try to keep the bandage in place until the morning following surgery, but do not be alarmed if it comes loose before then. When the dressing is removed (soaked off if it is stuck to the wound), begin taking as many warm baths as possible. An ice pack frequently feels good between the warm soaks. After soaking, apply the cream prescribed for you.

The warm soaks (Sitz baths) are an important part of the recovery process. They help to relieve pain and promote healing. Take as many as possible, especially after bowel movements. Just soak in a regular tub or basin at a comfortable temperature for 10-15 minutes at a time. Try to soak three or four times a day at first, and slowly taper off as time goes by.

Expect to have some drainage and bleeding for awhile, especially after a bowel movement. A self-adhering sanitary pad (Stay-Free pad) may be worn to protect your clothing. Try to avoid tape because of its skin irritation.

The pain medication may cause constipation. Try to avoid this by keeping your stools soft with bran or a non-prescription softener (DSS, Colace, Metamucil). If this is not effective, try one or two ounces of Milk of Magnesia or a gentle enema.

You may resume normal activity and return to work at your own pace. Most office workers return to work within a week while others with more strenuous jobs need longer.

If you develop a fever above 102 degrees or pass excessive bright red blood, call us. Otherwise make an appointment for a follow-up check in the office in one week.

This is the visit to this page since 27 Jan 97.

Last modified: 14 Apr 96, back to home page.