Post Operative Care

After your procedure, you will be given detailed discharge instructions specific to your particular procedure. The two most common issues are incision care and drain care. Both are described below:

Incision Care

  • Patients mix an incision cleaning solution of 1 part water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Dip a Q-tip in the solution and gently clean the incision, being careful not to be too rough.
  • After cleaning incision, apply antibacterial ointment.
Perform both tasks twice a day for 7 to 10 days. If no drain is in place, patients may shower 24 hours after surgery.

Drain Management

In most cases where drain placement is necessary, patients will be discharged home with the drain in place. Drain removal will occur in our office a few days after your procedure.

Drain management education will be provided in the hospital post-operatively so all patients are comfortable managing the drain at home.

Proper drain management includes the following three steps:

  • Make sure the bulb is always squeezed. A properly squeezed bulb provides low-grade suction which will ensure that no fluid will build up underneath the skin.
  • Strip the drain approximately every eight hours to prevent the drain from getting clogged. We will educate you on how to perform this in the hospital.
  • Record output from your drain daily. When drain output is less than 25 to 30 mL per day, the drain can be removed.

Avoid showering until your drain is removed.

Feeding Tubes

For certain surgeries, feeding tubes are implanted to provide nutrition to patients. A nasogastric tube is utilized for short term tube feeds, and a peg tube for longer term needs.

Postoperative Rehabilitation

Postoperative Rehabilitation may include speech and swallow therapy, meeting with a nutritionist/dietitian, physical therapy, and lymphedema/massage therapy.