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- Cool, clear liquids are generally best for the first 24 hours after general anesthesia.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration after surgery is a serious problem that often leads to increased pain and feeling sick. Recommended fluids include: sports drinks, Pedia-Lyte, non-caffeinated soda, Kool-Aid and broth.
- If you feel nauseated, continue to take sips of fluids as tolerated and avoid solid food.
- After 24 hours and if you don’t feel sick to you stomach, you can eat soft, regular food. Avoid hot/spicy foods for at least 1 week after surgery.
- Adults should not drink alcohol for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
- Resume your regular medications as soon as you can tolerate drinking liquids. Do not take aspirin for 1 week after surgery unless directed otherwise.
- If you were given a prescription for pain medication, take it as needed for severe pain. If your pain medication makes you feel sick to your stomach, take Tylenol instead. Do not take your prescription pain medication and Tylenol closer than 4 hours apart since both contain acetaminophen. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Aleve) is not recommended unless there are no other alternatives for pain relief. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN.
- If you were given an antibiotic, take all of your medication as directed. If you develop diarrhea while taking the antibiotic, notify the doctor’s office. Eating yogurt 3 times a day can help prevent this problem.
Cleaning and wound care
- Keep incisions clean. Gently clean incisions with peroxide twice a day with Q-tips. If heavy crusting develops on incisions, perform more often. Reapply bacitracin ointment after cleaning incisions.
- You may shower and gently wash hair and face 24 hours after surgery. Gently dab face with a clean washcloth, do not wipe across face or put excessive pressure on face or incisions. Wash hair with baby shampoo and face with a mild cleanser such as Cetaphil.
- Use extreme caution if you use a blow dryer after washing your hair. You may have temporary skin numbness for up to a few months after surgery that will prevent you from feeling the heat. This could lead to a serious burn that will produce permanent scarring. If you must use a blow dryer, set it on a cool temperature and keep your hand in front of the blower while drying your hair to feel how warm it is against your skin. If it ever feels hot, stop immediately.
- No strenuous activity for 2 weeks after surgery including: exercise, heavy lifting, bending, yard work or anything that includes straining or elevating your heart rate.
- Keep your head elevated to help reduce swelling and pain. At night, sleep with several pillows under your head or in a recliner for 1 week after surgery.
- Although you should not exert yourself during recovery, you should not stay bedbound for prolonged periods. Getting out of bed and walking around the house is good for you, it will speed up your recovery.
- Absolutely no driving for at least 48 hours after surgery. You may drive only if you are not taking narcotic pain medication.
What to expect
- You will have a dressing and sometimes drains for the first 24 hours after surgery. These will be removed by the physician. Avoid touching or moving these unless instructed by the physician or nurse. Do not get the dressing wet.
- Bruising and swelling are normal and peak around 72 hours after surgery. Keeping your head elevated will help to minimize this problem. Swelling around the eyes is normal, especially after browlift surgery.
- The face will feel tight and it may be difficult to open the mouth depending on the surgery performed. This is temporary and will get better once swelling goes down. If it is difficult to eat or chew, take small bites and stick to a soft diet.
Contact the physician for any of the following problems:
- Constant heavy bleeding.
- Persistent vomiting 24 hours after surgery.
- Uncontrolled pain not relieved by medication.
- Change in vision.
- High fever over 102° F.
- Keep your appointment as previously scheduled.
** For urgent problems or questions after hours, please call the main number at 317.818.5438 and select option 1 to reach the answering service and inform them you are a patient of Dr. Chegar.