What to expect after colon surgery?

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Did you just have Colon Surgery?

Patients often ask; “How do I take care of myself after surgery?”. In this article we will discuss what happens after surgery and how you take care of yourself in the days immediately after going home. Please be sure to read this carefully and have your family members also read these instructions.

Please return to the office for follow-up appointment 1-2 weeks after discharge from hospital

You must your contact your Doctor earlier if you develop fever (more than 101 degree F), shaking chills, persistent vomiting, and excessive pain unresponsive to painkillers. Also call earlier if you have excessive drainage from the incision or develop redness around it.

Some people may feel weak and exhausted after discharge. This is normal. You may not have much of an appetite for the next few weeks. It will return naturally.


You may gradually increase the level of your activity. Your activities may include:

Walking around inside the house and outside if the weather permits.

Light housework after 1 week.

Heavy exertion and heavy lifting is to be avoided for 6 weeks after surgery.

You may drive the car 3 weeks after discharge if your incision feels comfortable.

Deep breathing exercises that you were taught during your hospitalization.


At the time of discharge, you may or may not have staples in your incision. These will be removed at the time of your first office visit. Otherwise you may have paper "butterfly" strips holding the wound together. You do not need to remove these; they will fall off by themselves.

You may take a bath or shower and allow water to flow over your incision. You may wash the incision gently with soap and water and then dab it dry. It is common to feel pulling, itching or sharp sticking sensations in the area of incision as the wound is healing. This is normal.

You may also notice some drainage from the incision. If the drainage is excessive or the wound becomes red and painful please call us.


Take small portions of low fiber and low fat diet for the next two weeks. You may also want to avoid dairy foods during this time. After this period there will be no restriction for food. Drink plenty of water. Using a nutritional supplement such as Ensure or Boost is also a good idea. If you have diabetes, use Glucerna. Over the counter Multi Vitamin pills are also a good idea.

You may notice some constipation or diarrhea. This is normal. Do not be alarmed unless you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days or start vomiting. If you have more than 5 bowel movements a day call the office urgently.


You will be prescribed pain pills at the time of discharge. One or two pain pills may be taken every four to six hours. Take these pills round the clock for the first few days and not wait till you start feeling the pain. These

pills have a tendency to cause dizziness & drowsiness. Do not take these pills before driving and do not take alcoholic beverages with these pills. Also, these pills may cause nausea or constipation.


Medications that you were taking at home for problems unrelated to your surgery should be resumed once again. If you are unsure about these, please call your family doctor or whoever prescribes them for you.


Khawaja Azimuddin M.D. & Tal Raphaeli M.D. & Jean Knapps M.D.

1125 Cypress Station Dr, Suite G, Houston TX 77090

Tel: 281-583 1300  Fax: 281-583 1303

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.