So you’ve undergone surgery? Congratulations! The hardest part is over. Now you’ve just got to relax and recover. But what about restrictions? When do I have to come back in? How do I make my first post-op appointment? Do I need to call someone each night after surgery? Sounds like material for another blog post!
Let’s start with what you can expect at your first post-op appointment. Due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, we schedule the first post-op appointment as a telemedicine visit. This allows you to remain safely away from potential exposure to the virus. After that, the Doctor will likely ask you at that time to schedule the first in-person post-op visit.
Not unlike your pre-op visit, you will more than likely see the MA and the Doctor for this in-person appointment. Barring any unforeseen difficulties, this is typically a very quick trip. The MA wants to make sure you look good. She may check on any incisions you may have had and evaluate your bladder function with a scan after you have used the restroom.
The Doctor will walk you through the operative report that he dictated following your surgery. She will typically send a copy home with you, but copies of the report are available upon request even after your appointment. At this appointment, she will also review any restrictions you may have after surgery.
Typically, the type of surgery Dr. Hoyte performs requires patients to observe a restriction on lifting, pushing, and pulling for a number of weeks. These restrictions may vary, as each patient’s case is unique, so please ask the MA to explain in detail. The goal of this period of restriction is to allow your body to recover fully, and our goal is your return to a better quality of normal living. You can discuss with the MA what date you can expect the restrictions to be lifted.
Some patients have undergone robotic surgery. These patients should have been given a list of questions and a phone number to call with their answers for the three nights following surgery. Please call the office if you are undergoing robotic surgery and did not receive the pamphlet or if you are unsure whether you are undergoing robotic surgery and need the question pamphlet.
Following your surgery, you may be sent home with a catheter. Please do not worry. Likewise, if you find yourself leaking after the procedure, fear not. After procedures in Dr. Hoyte’s specialty, the bladder can have a delayed recovery. Please allow up to six weeks for the bladder to recover fully and the leakage to stop. However, if you believe that your leakage is unusual or cause to worry, please do not hesitate to call our office.
If you are sent home with a catheter, please call our office when you are discharged from surgery. Dr. Hoyte should give you a timeframe to schedule what we call a “voiding trial” in the office. These are conducted on non-clinic days (typically, Monday and Tuesday) by the medical assistant.
This is a non-invasive procedure, but it lasts between 90 minutes and two hours because you are asked to pee when you get to the office and once again after about an hour and a half when you come back into the office. You should feel free to have a meal between the first and second half of the test. If you pass, we will remove the catheter for good and send you home with a new post-op appointment date. If you do not pass, we will schedule you to come back into the office to repeat the voiding trial.
In any case, we will continue to work with you as long as you need us because our goal is to return you to a better quality of life than you came to us. Thank you so much for trusting us with your care. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate you, and we hope to be as helpful a resource as possible. Please give us a call if you have any additional questions about post-op.
Until next time, be well and stay healthy!