You may have 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 two (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 stop over time. If the drainage persists or if the site looks infected call the office.
Compression stockings and swelling
Some patients go home with the white compression stockings that were placed for surgery. These decrease swelling and encourage blood flow back up your leg. Take them off before you shower. If you like them, they can be worn again but it is not necessary. Put them 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 your lower legs, prop your legs up while sitting. Make sure you get up up several times a day and slowly walk 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 call your physician’s office immediately.
Watch what you eat, and slowly resume a normal diet 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.
Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear to light yellow. Caffeine can irritate your bladder, so be mindful of this when drinking caffeinated beverages.
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. Do not do any strenuous activity or lift anything heavier 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 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 before you leave the hospital.
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 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.
You may need pain medicine 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.
Ask your surgeon what over the counter medication you should 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 common after surgery. Narcotic pain medication can be very constipating. If you need to use this medicine, 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 to help your bowels move.
If you have had prostate surgery, DO NOT insert anything into your rectum like a suppository or enema.
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 go to the hospital emergency room.