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Always check with your surgeon regarding what particular instructions and medical supplies you will need after surgery to promote optimal healing.


  • Depending on what surgery you're having, using ice, heat, ointments, or lotion on your surgical site may affect your healing. Check with your surgeon before using.

  • Always read the instructions on your medicine bottles. Some need to be taken with food, may have side effects, or interact with other medications. Also, your pain medication may already contain acetaminophen (Tylenol), and the maximum amount is 3,000mg in 24 hours.

  • Inform your surgeon about all vitamin and herbal supplements you take prior to any invasive procedure, including teas and powdered mixes. Certain supplements can prolong bleeding and need to be stopped at least one week before your surgery.

  • If not contraindicated by your surgery, foot pumps (moving your feet up and down) can prevent blood clots in your lower legs. If ordered by your doctor, wear compression socks to prevent blood clots. Call your surgeon right away if you develop pain, swelling, or redness in the back of your legs after surgery. Sudden chest pain and/or shortness of breath needs immediate evaluation for possible pulmonary embolism.

  • Taking deep breaths and coughing after surgery (if not contraindicated by your particular procedure) can help prevent atelectasis (deflation of the air sacs in your lungs) and the development of pneumonia. If you've had abdominal surgery, hold a pillow firmly over your abdomen to prevent excessive strain on your incisions while you cough. Incentive spirometers are also helpful to prevent atelectasis.

  • Drinking plenty of fluids after surgery (unless your fluids are being restricted by your doctor) can prevent constipation that can occur with pain medication, anesthesia, and decreased mobility.

  • Call your surgeon immediately if you develop signs of an infection: fever, redness/heat to site, foul odor, or pus from the incision.

  • Get plenty of rest, and always follow your surgeon's activity restrictions.

  • If you wear a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, always wear it while sleeping. The anesthesia and pain medications can cause extra sedation and increased episodes of apnea.

Orthopedic Supplies

Assistive devices and supplies are often necessary to allow for optimal healing.

  • Front Wheeled Walkers for hip and knee surgeries

  • Crutches

  • Knee scooters

  • Wheelchairs

  • Shower chairs or bath benches

  • Hand held showerhead with hose

  • Elevated toilet seats

  • Commodes

  • Hospital beds

  • Reaching Aids/Picker uppers

  • Cast protectors

  • Ice packs

  • Heating pads

Medical Supplies

There are various medical supplies available to monitor your health and help prevent postoperative complications, such as blood clots and pneumonia.

  • ​Compression socks

  • Blood pressure monitors

  • Oximeters

  • Incentive spirometers

Personal Hygiene Supplies

There are many supplies available that can be useful for your personal care after surgery.

  • Bath wipes

  • Dry or Rinse-free shampoo

  • Emesis bags

  • Incontinence pads and liners

  • Urinals and bedpans

  • Absorbent underpads

  • Catheter supplies

  • Peri-bottles

  • Sitz baths

Wound Care Supplies

Wound care may be necessary after your surgery, and the supplies needed will be dependent on your surgery and your doctor's recommendation.

  • Gloves

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Gauze

  • Nonadherent dressings

  • Alcohol pads

  • Ostomy supplies

  • Heel protectors

  • Mattress overlays

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