Post-op expectations for colon resection surgery:

  • You are encouraged to be out of bed the day after surgery and to walk. This will help diminish the soreness in your muscles.
  • You will probably be able to get back to most of your normal activities in one to two weeks, including showering, driving, walking up stairs, and working.
  • Some minor bleeding at surgical site and from your rectum is normal.
  • Most patients report mild to moderate pain.
  • Nausea is common after surgery.
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation are both normal post-operatively.
  • You should be seen in the office for follow-up 1-2 weeks after surgery. Please call and schedule an appointment.

Instructions:

  • Apply an ice pack over incision/dressings for 30 minutes, every 1-2 hours, for the first 12-24 hours after surgery, as comfort dictates.
  • Remove dressings 24 hours after surgery, if present.
  • After dressing off, you may bathe, even if steri-strips present. Gently wash incisions with mild soap and water.
  • Pat wound dry.
  • Do not apply ointment/antibacterial cream to incision.
  • Leave dressings off unless drainage noted coming from incision.
  • Use prescribed pain medication as directed.
  • AVOID driving while using narcotics.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil as directed on the bottle. AVOID aspirin products.
  • AVOID heavy lifting.
  • No sports or strenuous activity for at least 6 weeks.
  • No dietary restrictions, but low fiber diet is recommended for 1-2 weeks and try to avoid any constipating foods, as not to strain.
  • Stool softener (Colace, Dulcolax) recommended while using narcotic pain medications or until first bowel movement after surgery.

When to call your doctor:

  • Persistent fever over 101 degrees F (39 C)
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Increasing abdominal swelling or pain
  • Pain that is not relieved by your medications
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Chills
  • Persistent cough or shortness of breath
  • Purulent drainage (pus) from any incision
  • Redness surrounding any of your incisions that is worsening or getting bigger
  • You are unable to eat or drink liquids