After Surgery

Activity

You might feel a little sleepy for the next 24 hours. This is due to the medicine you received to relax you. For the next 24 hours you should NOT:

  • Drive a car or operate machinery or power tools.
  • Engage in any strenuous activity.
  • Drink any alcoholic beverages, including beer.
  • Make any important decisions or sign important papers.
    You should have a responsible adult with you for the rest of the day and during the night. This is for your own safety and protection. You may be up and about according to doctor's instructions. After spinal anesthesia you should lie flat as much as possible for the next 24 hours. After spinal/epidural anesthesia, it is best to have assistance with walking for 24 hours.

Diet

Progress slowly to a regular diet unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Start by taking liquids such as soft drinks. If you have no nausea, try soup and crackers and, finally, solid foods. After spinal/epidural anesthesia, you should drink fluids frequently for 24 hours.

Medications

You may have some pain. Your doctor may give you a prescription for pain medication. This should be taken as directed. If it does not help the pain, contact your doctor. If your doctor does not prescribe anything for pain, then you may take a nonprescription, non-aspirin pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil. Please be sure to follow directions on the label. Take all pain medication with some food to prevent upset stomach. Continue with your regular medications unless instructed otherwise by your doctor or nurse. Do not restart blood thinners or aspirin until after checking with your doctor.

When to Call the Doctor

You should call your doctor's offic if you develop:

  • Persistent nausea and vomiting.
  • A fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit orally.
  • Pain not relieved by pain medication.
  • Any bleeding or unexpected drainage from the wound.
  • Extreme redness or swelling around the incision.
  • After spinal/epidural, a headache not relieved by Tylenol or similar non-aspirin medications.
  • If an emergency develops, call 9-1-1 immediately.