Relief of pain

The local anaesthetic that you have had will wear off in the next 1 to 2 hours.

Provided you do not have an allergy to the painkiller, it is safe to use over-the-counter painkillers to reduce your pain so you can be more active. Pain may be present for several days

It is important to use painkillers carefully, as they have side effects. Paracetamol is the simplest and safest painkiller. However, always get advice before taking paracetamol if you have liver or kidney problems

You could also try anti-inflammatory tablets like Ibuprofen as long as you don’t have a condition (such as a stomach ulcer) that prevents you using them.

Always take your painkillers at regular intervals at the recommended dose / exactly as prescribed. This is to make sure they work as well as possible for you. The aim is for pain control to be constant.

Putting off taking painkillers can make the pain more severe. It may then take longer to get it under control when you do take them.

If over-the-counter painkillers do not work, ask for help from your GP or pharmacist.

Changing position and using a pillow to support the wound can help reduce discomfort.

Please do not use a hot water bottle as this can lead to scalding of the skin. 

Check with your GP if you have been prescribed other analgesia.

Activity

  • You can resume sexual activity when comfortable.
  • Swimming only when wound is fully healed.
  • Football after 8 weeks.
  • Rugby after 12 weeks.
  • You can drive after two weeks if you are able to perform an emergency stop safely and without pain.
  • Your abdominal muscles help to protect your back during strenuous activities and lifting. These muscles might be weak after your operation and you will need to be vigilant about lifting and carrying objects
  • No heavy lifting for at least 8 weeks
  • No strenuous exercise for at least 8 weeks
  • No cycling at all for 4 weeks.

Cyclists should avoid going up hills and strenuous rides for at least 8 weeks.

  • You may feel numb beneath the scar.
  • Avoid constipation; so have a high fibre diet and drink plenty of fluids.

Bathing

If the wound is glued you can shower the next day.

If you have a waterproof dressing this can stay on when showering, and can be removed in 4 – 5 days.  Do NOT soak in the bath and do not use talcum powder for a week.

Complications

The signs of infection can be any of the following:

  • Increasing pain at the site
  • Swelling/redness
  • A pus-like discharge
  • Raised temperature

If you are concerned about any of the above, see your practice nurse promptly, taking this leaflet with you.

Bleeding

The operation site will be checked for bleeding before you leave the department. If bleeding occurs at home, do not disturb the dressing. Press firmly on the area, for a full 15 minutes (by a clock). Do not take the dressing off, put an additional “pressure dressing” on top of the original.

If bleeding persists you will need to visit your practice nurse or local Emergency Department for assessment. A clean dressing will be provided once bleeding has settled if this is necessary.

Be vigilant for bleeding if you take anticoagulants, e.g. Aspirin or Warfarin.

Post anaesthetic instructions

  • You must be accompanied home by a responsible adult age 18 year +.
  • You must not be left alone for 24 hours after your anaesthetic.
  • Do not lock the bathroom or toilet door for the next 24 hours.
  • No alcohol or sleeping tablets for 48 hours.
  • No using anything that could potentially cause harm, such as machinery, kettle, cooker or iron for the next 48 hours.
  • No signing legal documents for the next 48 hours.
  • No looking after young children alone for the next 48 hours.

Ref: 04/21/33
Review: 07/23