Before going home make sure you’re clear about:
- how to care for your wound
- how to care for your stoma (if you have one)
- your level of activity, particularly heavy lifting
- driving (don’t forget to also check with your car insurance company in case they have any restrictions following an operation)
- symptoms that need further medical attention
- any changes to your regular medication
- changes to your diet
- how soon you can have sex
- what kind of exercise you can do.
Normally your surgeon or hospital staff will advise you to avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 4 to 6 weeks. They’ll also encourage you to do regular light activity such as walking.
Check with your surgeon if it’s okay to resume your normal medications.
You’ll need to make a follow-up appointment to see your surgeon after your procedure.
Watching out for problems
Delayed complications from colorectal surgery are unlikely but you should call your surgeon if you experience:
- discharge from your wound
- redness or changes in the skin around your wound
- A lack of bowel movement or gas for more than 24 hours
- inability to eat or drink for more than 24 hours
- increasing abdominal pain or swelling
- increase in output from your stoma
- dark urine or no urine
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- vomiting or fever.