Activities after Surgery

Resume immediately after surgery

The following activities are typically safe immediately following surgery, but your doctor may give you specific instructions regarding these and other activities.

You may begin showering after surgery. For the first couple of days, let the water run on your back and not directly on your incision.

You may resume your normal diet when you are discharged from the hospital. Initially, your appetite may not be as good as it was before surgery. Try to eat small, frequent meals.

Unlike high impact activities, you may walk as much as much as you would like after surgery. Walking will not hurt your surgical repair or interfere with your recovery in any way.

You may climb stairs once you feel strong enough to do so.

Wait at least two weeks

If you have an incision on your abdomen, you may begin bathing two weeks after surgery. If you do not have and incision on your abdomen, you may bathe as soon as you feel strong enough to get in and out of the tub.

You should not drive for the first two weeks after surgery or while you are still on prescription pain medication. However, you may ride in the car while someone else is driving. As always, wear your seat belt and shoulder harness.

Travel (Airplane and Train)
We recommend that you do not plan any long trips in the first two weeks after surgery. After the first two weeks, you may travel by airplane, train, or automobile if you feel up to it. Remember, you still will not be able to carry your own luggage.

Wait at least six weeks

Anything that increases the pressure in your abdominal cavity may also increase the pressure in your pelvis and cause your surgery to fail. For this reason, we recommend that you lift no more than 5 – 7 pounds for the first six weeks after surgery. For an indication of weight measurement, keep in mind that a gallon of whole milk weighs 8.6 lbs.

We recommend you avoid carrying children, groceries, luggage or laundry baskets; pushing the vacuum cleaner; lifting weights; and other similar activities.

Running or High Impact Aerobics
For the reasons mentioned above, you should not resume any high impact aerobic activities for at least six weeks after surgery.

You may begin swimming six weeks after surgery.

You may resume doing sit-ups six weeks after surgery.

Sexual Intercourse
You should not have anything in your vagina for six weeks after your surgery while your tissues are healing. This includes intercourse, tampons, douching, etc.