8 Important Things Patients Should and Shouldn’t Do After Any Surgery

DayToDay Team
January 6, 2022

A surgery, no matter major or minor, carries some risks. Complications arise not just when there are issues during surgery but also due to poor post-operation care. There is no doubt that doctors and nurses make sure that there are no errors while delivering medical care at the hospital. But, one has to be careful once home, to continue recovery in an ideal way.

We have listed out some Dos and Dont’s that patients can incorporate in their post-surgery care. These instructions are easy to follow and help quicken the healing process.

The Do’s

Take your medicines as directed by the doctor.

The doctor advises medicines for pain, as well as to counter any secondary infections. People who are not in much pain tend to move less, causing less stress on the stitches. Patients should take pain medicines in the advised quantity, at the time the doctor prescribes, and for the said duration.

Doctors usually advise antibiotics course for proper recovery. Just because the incisions look okay doesn’t mean that they do not require extra protection. Additionally, stopping antibiotics in the middle can lead to antibiotic resistance in the future.

Maintain a healthy diet

This one is quite obvious. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet promotes recovery. Post-surgery, one may not feel like eating due to pain, nausea, or constipation. But eating and staying hydrated is necessary at this point.

Many times doctors recommend dieticians who can set up a diet chart according to the nutritional requirements and condition of the patient. Eating well can also minimize the chances of complications. Make sure to take diet supplements recommended by the doctor.

Keep a check on your incisions.

After operation, the incision site is kept clean, dry, and bandaged. To avoid infection, the sutures are to be kept sterile, even when at home. There is no need to use peroxide or alcohol to clean the wound. Nor is there a need to scrub or remove the scab from the surgical site.

Gently cleaning the surgical site with water and soap is adequate in most cases. It is advised not to soak the incision site in water and t keep it dry. Many doctors recommend taking showers than baths and ask patients not to swim for a while.

Keep your follow-up appointments.

Do not miss the follow-up appointments that the doctor schedules. Follow-up appointments help doctors keep track of wound healing and recovery. The doctors may want to look at the blood work, incision site, signs of infection, or make adjustments with medicines.

The Dont’s

Don’t drive too soon.

Driving after surgery can be dangerous. A patient should never drive immediately after surgery. The anesthesia, pain medications, muscle relaxants, and other medicines may make the patient drowsy and slow their reflexes.

Other reasons to avoid driving include a lower range of motion, reduced strength, risk of rupturing sutures, reduced grip, blurriness and eye dilation, and unwanted stress on incision. It is better to be patient and wait for the doctor to give clearance for driving. 

Don’t exert until the doctor says so

There is a reason why doctors ask patients to avoid any sexual activities and rigorous exercises after surgery. Any open surgery can take up to a month to heal properly. Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgeries can take at least ten days to recover.

It is necessary to take precautions after surgery, especially concerning heavy lifting. Doing so can put unnecessary stress on the stitches, causing them to rupture. Cuts can invite infections into such areas, causing delayed healing.

Don’t smoke

Tobacco affects the healing process. Smoking causes vessel constrictions leading to a decrease in the blood flow to the surgical site. It also reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the wound and interacts poorly with the inflammatory cells. Simply put, avoiding tobacco after surgery can help the wound heal faster, with less scarring. 

Don’t ignore infection signs.

One should be able to identify if the signs and symptoms they are experiencing are normal or require medical attention. The doctor or nurse often informs the patient about such signs before discharge. Though, it can get difficult to remember them. Remote post-surgical care programs can remind patients of such instructions and can also act as a channel between a healthcare provider and the patient for smooth communication.

In case a patient experiences the following signs and symptoms, they should not hesitate to connect with a doctor.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained chest pain
  • Unexplained fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Pus and discharge with a foul smell from stitches
  • Tingling, numbness, itching at the incision site
  • Any other surgery specific adverse reactions

Remote monitoring apps by DayToDayHealth help patients connect with a 24x7 care coach. The care coach can answer queries regarding recovery and also monitor improvements. To know more about DayToDay Health’s post-surgical care programs, contact us at

Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
Senior Content Writer
Olivia Casale
Olivia Casale
Senior Content Writer
Danny Biel
Danny Biel
Senior Cotent Writer
Driven Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Strong past in Applied Improvisation and Improvisation for entertainment. Skilled in Talent Management, Copywriting, Teaching, Curriculum Development, Editing, and Data Management. Strong media and communication professional with a Master of Education.
Prem Sharma
Prem Sharma
Christine Hsieh
Christine Hsieh
Chief of Strategy & Research
My vision is to help transformative, indispensable inventions come into markets to make a difference in people's lives. I see this occurring through a continuously evolving practice of working at the intersection of empathetic design, cutting-edge technology, and business.
Find Out More about Program
Experience the 10-day program crafted for recovery from home
Thank you! Your request has been received. We will get back to you soon!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form, please retry in a moment.

Explore the latest in Healthcare Innovations and Trends

Application Terms of Service
Privacy Policy

About us
Contact us
Social Media
Asia Innovation Congress and Awards
‘Best End to End Patient Engagement Solutions’
‘Best Digital Healthcare Program’
‘Best Remote Care Services in Healthcare Sector’
Founded and led by MIT alums and experienced professionals, DayToDay is dedicated to creating an unprecedented patient care experience before and after medical procedures. Our mobile app and platform provides turn-by-turn, personalized care content and interactive tools, and live chat with personal care coaches who take care of all our patients' needs. We are a global company with operations in the US, India, & the UK.