Q? There appear to be small blisters or pimples near my incision. Should I be concerned? Do I need to see the doctor?
A.What you are seeing may be either: (1) blisters due to Steri-strips or tape; or (2) a “spitting stitch.” A blister should be cleansed and covered with a light dressing as not to cause you pain. A “spitting stitch” gets its name from the indication your body is trying to spit them out. Please cleanse the site, but do not clip or pull them out. Be assured this is a normal part of the healing process. Certainly if either of these occurrences trouble you, the doctor would be happy to see you and care for the problem directly.
Q?Should I remove the tape/Steri-strips from my incision?
A.Do not remove the Steri-strips; allow them to fall off in their own timeframe. If any remain at the time of your follow-up appointment, they will be removed at that time.
Q?When can I drive?
A.No driving is allowed while the patient continues to take pain medication. Following the cessation of the need for pain medication, you can anticipate being able to drive by the end of the first week post-op.
Q?May I exercise?
A.No exercise at all is permitted in the first week following surgery. This is an important issue that will be specifically addressed at the time of first follow-up appointment. Low-impact exercise such as walking and bike riding will in all likelihood be the first exercises you are allowed following surgery.
Q?Should I use ice?
A. Ice is generally not helpful after 48 hours. Place a towel between the ice and skin n 20-minute increments (20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off) to obtain some additional comfort and pain relief. After 48-hour window, pain should be minimal and application of ice on/off would be solely for ongoing comfort.
Important Note: Do not use heat of any sort when seeking pain relief.
Q?May I take Motrin or Tylenol in conjunction with my prescription of pain medication?
A.Depending on the prescription pain medication you are taking, you may be able to take Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Please contact your nurse to see if you may take any additional over-the-counter medication.
Q?May I swim in a pool, the ocean or get into a hot tub?
A.No ocean or hot tub for the first two (2) weeks following surgery. As a rule, swimming in a pool is fine one (1) week after surgery. This issue can be individually addressed at 2-week follow-up appointment. In general, two (2) weeks after surgery it is permissible to get in the ocean or a hot tub as long as all incisions are healed.
Q?What type of bra may I wear?
A.Soft bra or sports bra ONLY; no underwire for three (3) months
Q?How soon may I shower or bathe? May I use soap or shower gels?
A.You may shower after 24/48 hours. Let soapy water run over the incisions; do not scrub hard. No special soap is needed. Both soap and shower gel are fine, but no scrubbing, just wash gingerly under running water.