This page includes many of the questions that we receive relating to preparing for surgery with Eve Health.
Your Eve Health gynaecologist has recommended surgery and given you information for booking in an operating theatre date. We have created this FAQ with popular questions about preparation for your surgery, what you can expect afterwards, including recovery times and what you need to be aware of, for example. If you have any further questions, please phone us on 07 3332 1999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where do your specialists operate?
How do I prepare for my hospital admission?
Eve Health reception will provide you with a hospital booklet to assist with preparing for your admission. Should you have any specific hospital related questions, pre-admission clinic nurses at your chosen hospital are available to discuss concerns and answer questions about your hospital stay. Alternatively, the nursing team at Eve Health can assist or direct you to the appropriate person.
When should I stop eating and drinking before procedures requiring an anaesthetic?
You will be advised by Eve Health reception the specified time you will be required to cease eating and drinking prior to your surgery. You will be notified of any changes if your theatre time changes.
Do I need to do a bowel prep before surgery?
This may be necessary if the bowel is likely to be operated on during your surgery. Bowel prep is a treatment to empty the bowels. Your doctor may ask you to have a bowel prep the day before surgery and you can follow the instructions given to you by your Eve Health gynaecologist. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Eve Health nurses.
Do I need to use special surgical body wash prior to surgery?
Please wash with soap and water prior to surgery unless otherwise advised. Prior to laparoscopic procedures please clean the umbilical area (belly-button) with soap and water before laparoscopic surgery. If any tissue is difficult to remove, use a cotton bud.
What type of activity can I do after surgery?
During your hospital stay gentle movement, lower limb circulation exercises and deep breathing exercises will reduce your risk of blood clots, lung infections and bloating or gas pain. Gentle mobilisation around the ward is encouraged.
Generally, increasing your exercise over 4-6 weeks before adding in more vigorous exercise (running, gym programs) is advisable. Avoid lifting more than 6kgs from the floor for 6 weeks after major abdominal or vaginal surgery and 2 weeks after laparoscopy. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t lift it with one hand, avoid until 6 weeks. Good pelvic health and recovery also involves correct activation and use of your pelvic floor muscles. This can be difficult and in some instances limited initially after surgery but should be encouraged after 4-6 weeks. If you have concerns, please discuss a detailed return to exercise or pelvic floor program with your physiotherapist.
What can I take for constipation?
Constipation is a common problem post-operatively. It is important for your recovery and pain management to actively manage any constipation in the short and medium term. A guide for optimising bowel function would be to have bowel motions that are formed but easy to pass and occur every 1-3 days. Some options for management:
- Ensure a good toileting position, not straining
- Keep well hydrated
- Have a high fibre diet (fruit and vegetables)
- Use stool softeners such as Movicol
- Drinking prune or pear juice may help
What medications will I be expected to take after surgery?
Medications may include analgesia, anti-nausea, laxatives and in the case of long procedures or long periods of bed rest a blood thinner (Clexane) to avoid the formation of clots. It is important to take pain relief as instructed by your doctor. Gas pain, cramping sensation and or bloating is common after a procedure. Be alert to abdominal distension, no flatus and no bowel motions. Shoulder tip pain is due to the gas used to expand the abdomen during surgery and can last for one week. Heat packs may help.
What am I expected to do with wound care and dressings?
Leave dressing intact for 24 – 48 hours unless they are soiled or wet. Do not apply antiseptic creams, Dettol or methylated spirits to wound sites. The best way to achieve minimal scar formation is to leave the wounds alone until healed. Some redness is usual, especially around the site of the wounds. If the redness is spreading or the wound is discharging fluid or pus or opening of incision, please contact the Eve Health nurses.
- Wound sites may feel numb or sensitive for some time. Scars may not reach their final appearance for up to a year. Bio oil may be applied once healed.
- Dissolvable sutures are primarily used and therefore do not require removal.
- Skin glue may also be used to add strength and protection to an incision and will start peeling off after a week.
- Steri-Strips may also be applied over the wound site and may be removed one-week after your surgery
- Non-dissolvable skin sutures (stitches) will be removed approximately 7 days after your surgery. Your doctor will inform you when these are to be removed.
- Vaginal surgery sutures will be dissolvable and may take up to 6 weeks to dissolve. Light vaginal bleeding or pink brown discharge is normal as sutures dissolve.
Is vaginal bleeding normal after surgery?
Light spotting or bleeding is expected several weeks after surgery especially the first week. Should you experience any heavy bleeding, such as soaking a pad in less than one hour or passing clots, notify your Eve Health Gynaecologist or Nurses immediately. Tampons should not be used until at least 2 weeks’ post-surgery.
When can I have sex after surgery?
Vaginal Surgery: 6 weeks
Hysterectomy: 6 – 10 weeks
Laparoscopy: When you feel like it unless directed otherwise
Cervical Surgery: 4-6 weeks
Hysteroscopy: 1-2 weeks
When can I shower, swim and have a bath?
Showers are possible straight after surgery. You can wet the wound site after dressings removed while showering and pat dry afterwards. Baths and swimming should be avoided for 2 weeks after your surgery.
What should I avoid after Cervical surgery (LLETZ, Cone Biopsy, Laser treatment)?
For 4-6 weeks after any treatment to remove abnormal cervical tissue:
- Avoid having sex to reduce risk of infection
- Use sanitary pads rather than tampons
Can I drive after my surgery?
You should not drive for 24 hours after an anaesthetic. Do not drive while taking narcotic or sedative medications or if you are unable to operate the vehicle in full capacity. Check with your car insurance company first before driving after major surgery as they may have a policy clause relating to this.
How long should it take me to recover and return to work?
Hysteroscopy: Day procedure
- You can usually go back to work within 24 to 48 hours.
LLETZ/ Cervical Biopsy: Day procedure
- You can usually go back to work within 24 to 48 hours.
Laparoscopic procedures minor and medium such as treatment of mild endometriosis, removal of ovarian cysts or treatment of ectopic pregnancy. Day procedure or overnight stay.
- Back to work in 5 – 7 days
Longer laparoscopic procedures such as laparoscopic hysterectomy or treatment of severe endometriosis. One or two days in hospital
- Back to work in 2 to 4 weeks
Stress Incontinence surgery such as TVT or TVT-O: Day procedure or overnight stay
- Back to work in 2 weeks. No heavy lifting for 4 to 6 weeks
Pelvic floor reconstructive surgery for prolapse: Two to three days in hospital
- Back to work in 3 to 4 weeks depending on kind of work. No heavy lifting for 6 weeks
What post-operative complications should I be aware of and what do I need to do?
Please seek medical advice at once if you notice any of the following:
- Abdominal pain or bloating that is severe, lasts for 3 hours and is not relieved by pain medication
- Persistent bleeding from the vagina that is smelly or becomes heavy or bright red.
- Nausea and vomiting that is worsening
- Fever > 38 degrees Celsius
- Skin incision redness, drainage of fluid, pus or opening of incision
- Swelling in an extremity (arm or leg that is much greater in size on one side than the other)
- Shortness of breath
- Foul smelling, green or dark yellow vaginal discharge
- Pain or burning on passing urine or the need to pass it frequently.
- Unable to move bowels, diarrhoea.