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  • General Discharge Instructions

  • Neurosurgery 

    General Discharge Instructions

    What to expect

    You may feel easily tired and you should avoid strenuous activity until you have had a follow-up appointment with your doctor and have discussed increasing your activity level. It is important, however, to avoid prolonged bed rest, which can lead to lung problems and blood clots in the legs. Going for walks, either inside or outside, and then resting when you are tired is a good way to get the exercise you need.

    Dos and Don'ts

    • Your incision was closed with stitches/staples. You can shower if the wound is covered with a waterproof bandage.

    • Do not apply creams, lotions or ointments to your incision. Keeping the wound clean and dry will enable it to heal quickly.

    • Change the dressing every day or every other day in order to keep the wound clean. Your nurse may provide you with a few extra dressings to take home.

    • You will be given some pain medication to take home with you. If your pain is mild and you would prefer to take an over-the-counter medication you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol or Extra-Strength Tylenol) according to package directions. Many pain medications can occasionally cause an upset stomach. Follow the instructions and let us know if you develop stomach pain or an upset stomach. Take all medications prescribed for you and not stop taking them abruptly.

    Contact us immediately if:

    • You develop a rash, upset stomach or other problems that may be related to medication.

    • You develop redness, draining pus or fluid, or sudden swelling around your incision.

    • You develop swelling, redness or pain in your foot or leg. This could indicate a blood clot in the leg, a serious problem that may occur after surgery. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, severe chest pain or coughing up blood could be a sign of a blood clot moving to the lung or another serious medical problem.

    The above symptoms are some of the most serious that may arise but do not include all potential postoperative problems. When in doubt, it is better to call and ask.

    Contact information and follow ups

    During business hours you should call your attending physician's office with any questions. For emergencies after business hours call 401-444-5611 and ask for the neurosurgical resident on call.

    Call your attending physician's office after you are discharged from the hospital to arrange for stitch/staple removal and necessary follow up appointments.

    You should also schedule a follow up appointment with your primary care physician. If you do not have a general doctor, you can call the Lifespan Heath Connection at 401-444-4800 for a referral.