Pain Management

The pain you feel before your surgery is different from the pain you will feel after surgery.

These tips will help you deal with pain as you recover:

  • Set realistic expectations about pain while you are healing
  • Healing can take several months or up to a year for full recovery
  • Narcotic medications alone cannot relieve all pain

Non-Narcotic Approaches to Decrease Pain

  • Aromatherapy
  • Activities such as coloring, puzzles, hobbies and word searches
  • Cold therapy
  • Guided imagery
  • Meditation
  • Therapeutic breathing

You just had major surgery and will need rest periods.

Preventing Blood Clots

One of the risks after surgery is developing a blood clot. To prevent this, you will need to walk so that blood flow increases in your legs. You may also be prescribed blood thinning medication after surgery.

Your care team in the hospital will discuss your discharge instructions, including:

  • Medication(s) to stop
  • Medication(s) to start
  • When to call the care team with possible problems

Preventing Post-Surgery Infection

To prevent pneumonia after your surgery, you will need to do the following:

  • Use an incentive spirometer (10 times each hour)
  • Cough and take deep breaths
  • Get up and move


If you must touch your incision, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.


  • Continue walking a few times each day, according to your physician orders.
  • Continue with PT and OT if they have been ordered.

Physician Instructions

Your physician's instruction for your surgery and recovery may differ from this information based on your health condition(s). Always follow all instructions from your physician.