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The following guidelines pertain to abdominal incision surgeries. This advanced knowledge will assist you in having an optimal post operative experience. The guidelines may vary slightly based upon the specific surgical procedure and physician.

Pain control:

Pain medication will be provided to help you achieve an adequate level of pain control. The nursing staff/physicians will work with you to achieve that level. It is important to remember that all post operative pain can not be eliminated. Pain medication may be given in the form of IV route. Oral medications will be started when taking fluids.

Discharge: Pain medication prescription will be given at time of dismissal

Sips/ice chips up to clear liquids may be ordered after your surgery.

Advancement back to your home diet will depend on surgical procedure and physician.

Discharge: Resume home diet unless restrictions placed by physician


Nursing staff will assist you turning with deep breathing and sitting on the edge of bed the day of surgery. The next day nursing staff will provide assistance/instructions on returning to your normal activity. Surgery, anesthesia, medications, and change in your environment place you at greater risk for falls or disorientation. We recommend that you sit on the edge of the bed prior to standing to ensure stability. If you feel dizzy or unstable even after achieving independent activity please call for nursing assistance prior to standing/ walking.

Discharge: Lifting and exercise restrictions will apply. No driving while taking narcotics


A catheter will be placed in your bladder to drain urine. The catheter is usually removed the next day. Nursing staff will assist you in walking until you are able to walk independently.


The incision will be covered by a gauze dressing. The dressing will be removed the next morning. No further dressings are required unless drainage is present. It is not uncommon for incisions to have a small amount of drainage

Discharge: Keep incision clean and dry


Dismissal is based on meeting the following criteria:

  1. Tolerating oral intake
  2. Urination
  3. Passing of gas ( if required by physician)
  4. Walking
  5. Pain control