Postoperative FAQs

I had surgery, when can I?

Drive: For most surgery, you will be advised to abstain from driving for at least a week. Certainly the patient needs to be able to move her feet from pedal to pedal without hesitancy or pain and she should never drive while under the influence of a narcotic. So, for most surgeries involving a larger abdominal incision we recommend at least two weeks.
Shower: For most surgery, you need to wait only 24 hours before being able to shower. You can do this without having to cover the incision.
Take a bath: Ok greater than 24 hours after surgery. Do not bother covering the incision.
Walk up stairs: When tolerated by the patient. Any activity that involves increasing abdominal pressure such as rising from a seated to a standing position, having a BM or walking up stairs, has the potential to cause some discomfort due to the increased pressure stressing the incision. We are not concerned about damaging the incision in these cases though we recommend caution.
Become sexually active:

Any vaginal surgery at least 6 weeks
Hysterectomy at least 6 weeks
Cesarean section 6 weeks
Episiotomy or laceration 6 weeks
LEEP 2 weeks
Operative laparoscopy 2 weeks
Minor Laparoscopy ie BTL 1 week
Hysteroscopy, endometrial ablation 1 week
Colposcopy 3 days

Exercise: In general, we would follow the same guidelines as above for sexual activity. We would add the caveat. Anyone undergoing reconstructive surgery for prolapse should abstain from heavy lifting for 100 days after the surgery. "Heavy" lifting is vague. For most that means that weight at which the patient must substantially strain as in to lift a 25+ pound of dog food.
Smoke: Never!!!!!!