Upon discharge you will receive instructions on any activity restrictions you may have. These may include driving, lifting, housework, sitting, stairs, sports, sexual activity, or returning to work.
Why is it important to follow these instructions?
It is very important to follow the physician's instructions regarding activity. Failing to follow your activity restrictions may actually prolong your recovery period. Your condition may worsen. If you are taking pain medication it can make you drowsy. This could make certain activities unsafe, putting you and others at risk. If you have an incision, it may put too much stress on the area causing a delay in healing.
What if I have no restrictions?
If you do not have any restrictions, you may want to take it easy the first day or two after discharge and gradually resume your normal activity. If you tire more easily, take frequent rest periods. Listen to your body.
What if I don't feel like being as active as instructed?
It is also important to increase your activity as instructed. Failing to do so may cause a delay in a return to your normal strength or ability to perform your activities of daily living.
A lack of activity as instructed may cause other complications. Pneumonia (very serious lung infection) can be caused by not taking enough deep breaths to fully stretch your lungs or by causing a fluid build-up in your lungs. Blood clots can form in due to blood pooling in the legs when you are not moving around enough.
How long do I have to follow these instructions?
If you have not been told a specific time frame, the restrictions remain in effect until you have your follow-up appointment with your surgeon.