Postoperative Problems (cont.)
Check Your Symptoms
If you have had surgery:
- You will be given some general instructions about what to do after surgery. Your surgeon may also give you some special instructions on how to care for the surgery area. Be sure to follow those instructions carefully.
- If the instructions from your surgeon are not clear or do not cover your particular problem, contact your surgeon.
- If your symptom or problem starts after the office or health facility is closed, call your surgeon's office and leave a message with the answering service (or follow instructions given on the answering machine). If you leave a message, be sure to include your name and phone number so that your surgeon (or the on-call surgeon) can contact you.
Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking slows healing because it decreases blood supply and delays tissue repair. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
Write down your symptom or problem. It may help you become more aware of your specific symptom or problem or give you ideas about its cause. It will also help prepare you to talk to your surgeon about what you are experiencing.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- A new symptom develops that is different than what your surgeon told you to expect.
- Symptoms become more severe or frequent.