Details related to the time you will spend in hospital after surgery and your post-operative plan will depend on your surgical site. Ask your surgeon for details related to your recovery.
You will likely receive painkillers and antibiotics to prevent infection and other medications such as stool softeners, muscle relaxants, anti-nausea medication and medication to reduce bladder spasm. Your surgeon will provide you with a list of medications to avoid around the time of your surgery.
During the healing process, you should expect:
- Some bleeding
- Swelling of the genital region for up to about 6 weeks
- Bruising that can extend from your belly to your thighs (This can take a few weeks to settle down)
- Itching and occasional small, shooting electrical sensations as your nerve endings heal
- Numbness around the incisions, which could last several months
- Difficulty urinating while standing for the first few weeks
- Pink or red scars on your genitals that will pale over time
The number of check-ups needed varies from person to person and between surgeons. If possible, see your primary care provider about a week after you return from surgery and then every two to four weeks for the first few months. When you visit your surgeon or primary care provider, they should check your surgical sites to make sure there are no infections or wound healing problems. They will ask questions about pain, bleeding, urination, bowel movements, fever, and how you are feeling physically and emotionally.
Recovery time varies from person to person, so always follow the advice of your surgeon. Over the six weeks following surgery, you will gradually resume your usual activities. The first week will involve plenty of bed rest. Some activities, such as driving, heavy lifting, exercise, sex, and soaking in hot tubs, may be restricted in the post-operative period. Your surgeon will give you advice about when it is okay to resume these activities.