Home Care Instructions
You may have adhesive bandages over the keyhole sites. The brown bandages can come off before you shower. The white small strips (steri strips) should stay on and can get wet.
You may shower 2 days after surgery, or the day after you go home. Lather your chest with soap, and let the soapy water run down your abdomen to the sites. Rinse with clean water. Pat the sites dry, do not rub or be aggressive with these sites. Let air get to the sites for about 5-10 minutes prior to dressing to avoid moisture being retained on the site. Do not soak the sites in water for 6 weeks. This includes pools, hot tubs, or bathtubs.
Watch the sites for any redness or drainage. Some patients may have a small amount of drainage that looks straw colored or light red and this is normal. Apply a bandage or dressing to this to protect your clothes. Generally, the drainage will become less and stop over time. If the drainage persists or if the site looks infected contact the office.
Compression stockings and swelling
Some patients go home with the white compression stockings that were placed for surgery. These are to help decrease swelling and encourage blood flow back up your leg. These can be removed prior to showering. If you like them, they can be worn again, but it is not necessary. It is best to put these on after sleeping and before getting out of bed. Baby powder or talc can help with getting them pulled up over your leg.
To help avoid swelling in you lower legs, try propping your legs up while sitting, and make sure you are getting up several times a day and slowly walking around. If you are having a large amount of swelling in your scrotum, feet, ankles or legs that does not get better when propping your legs and scrotum up, contact the office.
If you have new redness, swelling, and/or pain in your leg or legs contact the office to discuss your symptoms right away.
Continue to be cautious with your diet and advance it slowly when you get home. Easily digestible foods are best until you feel your stomach is back to normal and you are having regular bowel movements.
Make sure you are drinking enough fluids to keep the urine clear to light yellow. Caffeine can be irritating to the bladder, so be mindful of this when drinking caffeinated beverages.
Continue to take slow walks several times a day at home. Get up and move around the house, get the mail, walk the driveway and back, and increase your activity level a little each day. You are restricted from strenuous activity or heavy lifting greater than 10-15 pounds for six weeks. Remember to do coughing and deep breathing when at home.
Some patients need to go home with a foley catheter. If you have had prostate surgery or have had trouble emptying your bladder, you will have to keep the catheter in for seven to 10 days. The nursing staff will teach you and your family how to manage this at home.
The large bag that you have had during the hospital stay is good to use at night so that you do not need to get up and empty it in the middle of the night. You will be given a smaller leg bag that will attach to your thigh, or if you prefer lower leg, by elastic straps. You will be shown how to switch from the large bag to the smaller leg bag prior to discharge.
It is important to always keep either bag lower than where the catheter comes out of your body. This helps prevent infection by keeping the urine from going back into your body. Also make sure you empty the bag before it is completely full to avoid any complications.
Clean your body where the catheter comes out of your body with soap and water and rinse well. Some men have some discomfort or a pulling sensation at the tip of the penis and may use triple antibiotic ointment at the site to help.
Some patients require pain medications for a few days after surgery. You may receive a prescription for medicine to help you manage your pain. Use this as instructed on the bottle. If you are not having a lot of pain, you can use either acetaminophen or an anti-inflammatory medication instead. Make sure to ask your surgeon what over the counter medication they prefer you to take. We DO NOT recommend using the prescription pain medication and the acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory at the same time. Over-the-counter medications can keep you comfortable and will help avoid constipation that narcotic medications can cause.
This is a common occurrence for patients after surgery. Narcotic pain medication can be very constipating. If you need to use this medication, make sure to take your stool softeners, drink plenty of fluids, and be active. Adding vegetables and fruits to your diet can also help with constipation. You may need to take Milk of Magnesia every once in awhile to help your bowels move as well.
If you have had prostate surgery, DO NOT insert anything into your rectum like a suppository or enema, this can harm you.
After Hours Assistance
For Springfield Clinic patients: TeleNurse service is available 24 hours a day for any medical questions or needs you may have. These Registered Nurses can help answer questions you may have at any time of day or night. They can be reached at the Clinic’s main number of (217) 528-7541.
For SIU patients: For urgent needs after hours, call (217) 545-8000 or toll-free at (800) 342-5748. Your message will be taken, and the on call physician will return your call as soon as possible. For emergencies, call 911 or proceed to the hospital emergency room.