Post-Operative Care

All surgeries require aftercare to ensure success and avoid any infections or further complications. Although surgical procedures vary between acute and complex, post-op wound care is likely to be the same or very similar.

It is crucial to keep the wound or incision clean to avoid infection. Unless instructed otherwise, you can shower 24 hours post-surgery. When cleaning the wound, use mild soap with water and pat dry with a clean cloth or towel.

Depending on the type of surgery, your healing period will differ. If you had minor surgery, once the procedure is complete and the anaesthesia has worn off, you'll be discharged. After that, you'll have instructions to avoid any strenuous activity for at least a week, to prevent complications and allow the wound to heal.

After surgery, it’s common for patients to experience constipation as an effect of the anaesthesia. This can be treated by slowly increasing your dietary intake and eating foods that contain fibre - such as fresh fruit, and staying hydrated.

After you’ve been discharged, the doctor may prescribe medication that will neutralise any pain or discomfort you might experience during the post-operative period. You will also be informed when to take it and how often to take it. If you take the medication more often than what was instructed, you’ll likely experience some nausea.

If you experience any complications or worrying symptoms for more than 24 hours, contact Dr Viljoen urgently.