General Post-Operative Information and Instructions

  • Headache, vague soreness, and stiffness are common after anesthesia. If you have any questions regarding your anesthesia, please call your surgeon.
  • You may experience a mild sore throat for 24-36 hours following general anesthesia. Lozenges, popsicles and cold fluids may provide some relief.
  • When you feel like eating, start with fluids (soup, Jell-O, etc.) and progress to a normal diet as tolerated. Stay away from fatty or protein-rich foods your first meal as these are harder for the stomach to digest right after surgery. Please also be aware that taking medications on an empty stomach may cause nausea.
  • After surgery, you may start taking your prescribed pain medication or muscle relaxer as soon as you are discharged from the surgery center. It may be helpful to bring these with you to the surgery center to take in your vehicle on the way home if needed. If you have been prescribed both a pain medication and muscle relaxer, it is strongly recommended that you do not take both at the same time but rather at least an hour apart. Since you will receive intravenous antibiotics during your surgery, you may begin your prescribed oral antibiotic the morning after surgery.
  • If you become constipated after surgery, or normally have trouble with bowel movements, you are advised to increase your fiber consumption, stay hydrated, and consume three glasses of prune juice daily.
  • It is important to get up and walk after your surgery to prevent blood clots. Getting up to use the bathroom and a short walk around the house every few hours during the day is sufficient. You may be given compression stockings on the day of surgery to wear post-operatively. If so, these must be worn for at least the first two days after surgery. If your surgeon sends you home with a compression device, please use it while you are relaxing in a chair or bed and return the unit at your first post-operative appointment.
  • For the first few days after surgery, please remember to deep breathe and cough every couple of hours to prevent postoperative pneumonia. This may be uncomfortable, so try to do your deep breathing exercises about 30 minutes after taking your pain medication. It will also help to hold a pillow gently against your incision while coughing.
  • Until you are released by your surgeon and are no longer using prescription pain medication, do not drive, operate machinery, sign legal documentation, or anything else that requires concentration or precision work. Also, do not drink alcohol or use drugs other than those prescribed by your doctors. If you are still using your prescription pain pill or muscle relaxer, you will need to arrange transportation to your post-operative appointment.
  • Do not remove any dressings or shower unless directed to do so by your surgeon. As a general rule, dressings remain on and must be kept dry until your first post-operative appointment. Keep in mind, however, that every surgery is different, so please follow the advice of your surgeon.
  • If you experience uncontrollable pain, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, or a temperature over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, call your surgeon as soon as possible. Dial 911 if your condition is life-threatening.
  • Please call your surgeon’s office for any questions regarding your surgery or post-operative care. Questions or comments regarding the surgery center should be referred to the Nurse Administrator at (480) 284-4355.


"I had an excellent experience at the North Scottsdale Outpatient Surgery Center. Andrea immediately made me feel at ease! Dr. St.Peter was amazing and both times I’ve been at this facility, I’ve had an excellent experience – couldn’t have been more pleased. Thank you!"

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