Woman recovering from surgery

Tips for Post Op Surgery Recovery

We’ve collected tips from other women for post-op recovery from similar surgeries: like hysterectomy, c-section, tummy tuck, hernia repair, organ transplant, and other abdominal surgeries. Read on:

Managing Pain

“Keep a pencil and paper next to your pain medications and always write down the times you take them. Foggy memories can lead to mistakes.”

“Take your pain meds on schedule. Staying “on top” of the pain is easier than trying to catch up if pain gets ahead of you.”

Ice packs are great. Even better are ice packs with a pouch. Keep an ice pouch on your incisions.”

“Rest and nap.”

Getting your system back on track

“Narcotics cause your digestive system to slow down – causing constipation. Plan to drink plenty of water, get up and walk as much as you can (but rest, too!) and eat foods that help: Bran muffins, prune juice and the like.”

“Carbonated drinks tend to contribute to a gassy stomach. Stick with water.”

“A word to the wise: Never, ever mix your Metamucil with prune juice unless you have no other plans for the rest of the day.”

Showers and Baths

“Keep your incisions dry. Depending on your incisions – you may need to avoid showers until the doctor releases you or your stitches are removed. Try No Rinse products until then!”

“No baths until the doctor allows you to have a bath. A shower is often allowed as you can cover your incisions and keep the water from hitting directly.”

“Make the most of your shower time once you get a little bit of your energy back. Use shower steamers in a wonderful scent, turn on beautiful music and enjoy!”

If you can’t make it to the shower, the No Rinse Bathing Wipes can be warmed in the microwave and used from your bed.

“If your incision becomes red, angry looking or warm to the touch, call your doctor.”

Taking care of incisions and your swelly belly

“If you have a cat or dog, keep a pillow on your tummy at all times, especially when you’re sleeping on your back. The pocket pillow provides a soft pillow and the cold pack provides cooling relief to your incisions and swollen belly. ”

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will be able to wear the same clothes you wore before surgery (at least comfortably). The combination of the incision pain and swelly belly makes it nearly impossible.”

“Have a pillow over your tummy if you have small children. They can share the sofa with you and the pillow protects your tender belly.”

“An abdominal binder is a wonderful addition to your recovery. It provides support like an ace bandage, allowing you to get up and move around more easily.”

“The miracle of the Pocket Binder: it provides gentle support AND gives you a cold compress to our swollen belly.”

“I can recommend the Great Binder Set. You get two different kinds of binder – the abdominal binder and the pocket binder, the laundry washing sack and 2 hot/cold packs for the pocket binder. I saved money plus I had the binders I needed.”

Riding or Driving

“Keep a tummy pillow with you and put it between the seat belt and you to cushion the tender belly.”

“No driving until your doctor releases you from the restriction. Typically its when you are no longer on pain meds and your abdominal incisions are not at risk from the strain of an emergency step on the brakes.”

Doing too much

“If you go back to work too early, it’s very hard to convince your boss and coworkers that you came back too early and need to go home. It’s better to take the full time and recover right the first time, then to have to try to repair the damage that overdoing it can cause.”

“Watch that first stretch in the morning, the one you always do before you’re really awake. It’s a killer for those first few weeks.”

“Rest. And nap. During these first few weeks especially, you may want to push yourself, but don’t. Your body needs to heal. Give it that ability by resting and keeping your feet up as much as possible.”

“Consider using the Post op Panty as you are ready to begin to get back into your clothes and get back to your life. They provide compression and support where you need it.”


“Its normal to have some post-op vaginal bleeding. No Rinse Peri-Wash is a great product if a bath is out of the question.”

“After my A&P repairs, I loved Peri-cool packs. They worked inside Mesh Panties. The cooling effect felt good on my tender tissues.”

Flush away wipes are gentle and tender while it cleans and soothes tender tissues.”

Doctor Restrictions

“Listen to the doctor when s/he says do not pick things up. Don’t pick up anything heavier than a frying pan or a gallon of milk. Vacuuming is out of the question, too. You are welcome.”

“Don’t move heavy items with your legs or lower body because that’s just as bad as lifting. Don’t think pushing the furniture is OK just because it’s not “lifting”!”

“Also, resting means in a reclined position, not just sitting. Sitting can actually hurt more than standing.”