Pain is usually most intense the first 24 hours after surgery. As you transition to home, you will find pain best controlled by using both narcotics (Percocet, Norco, Vicodin) and anti-inflammatories (Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve). Use anti-inflammatories morning, afternoon and evening for the first 3 days regardless of how you feel. This will not only decrease post-op swelling, but will decrease your pain so you use less narcotics. Use narcotics as needed to “take the edge off” the pain. The goal is to make you comfortable, not to take away 100% of your pain.
Constipation after surgery is common due to narcotics, decreased activity and changes in diet. As you require fewer pain pills and return to normal activity, the constipation will improve. In the meantime, use over-the-counter stool softeners, drink 8 glasses of water daily, and use the prescription suppositories to ensure bowel movements at least every other day.
Reasons to Call Dr. O’Sullivan
- Fever >101 degrees by mouth
- Pain not controlled with medications
- Feeling like you are getting worse rather than better