Post-Operative Instructions: GeneralBACK
After Your Surgery
The Day of Surgery
Bleeding: If given gauze, change it as directed every 20–30 minutes until active bleeding has subsided (usually 2–3 hours).
- Make sure to apply good pressure to the gauze.
- You may remove the gauze to begin drinking, but return fresh gauze to the surgery site(s) if bleeding is still present.
- It is normal to experience light bleeding for up to 24 hours.
Do not brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, or spit.
Do not drink through a straw.
Swelling: Ice packs may be used to reduce swelling. Rotate the ice pack on and off or side to side every 30 minutes for 24 hours.
Numbness: You will probably remain numb for several hours after surgery, so it is recommended that you begin to drink fluids and take pain medication (over-the-counter or prescribed) before the anesthetic wears off (or when you begin to feel a tingling sensation).
Medications: You have been given the following medications:
- Pain medicine should be taken as needed. You may take ibuprofen (400–600mg every 6 hours) in addition to or instead of your prescription pain medication. While taking prescription medication, do not drive or operate heavy machinery. Be sure to eat something prior to taking pain medicine to reduce nausea.
- Nausea medicine should be taken as needed. You may take the nausea medication in conjunction with the pain medication to help with discomfort. While taking this medication, do not drive or operate heavy machinery
- No prescriptions will be called in after hours.
After hours: There is a doctor on call 24 hours a day.