Dressing: The shoulder dressing may be removed 72 hours after surgery for showering. The small tapes (steri-strips) covering the incisions should be left in place. The sling can then be replaced.
Showering: Showers are acceptable after 72 hours, no use of bathtubs or Jacuzzi. After removing the dressing covering the shoulder keep the steri-strips in place, apply a clear plastic wrap (Saran wrap). This should be applied for each shower until the sutures are removed. You need to keep your incisions dry. After showering, make sure that you dry the shoulder area. Your sutures are usually removed at your first post-operative appointment.
Bleeding: In some cases, oozing at the point of incision can persist for several hours. If this should persist with the continued use of the compression dressing, contact our office. If the steri-strips covering the incisions are removed, this sometimes does remove the clot covering the wound, which is why we ask that you leave the steri-strips on until your first post-op appointment.
Swelling: Swelling is common to experience especially around the shoulder. This may cause stiffness and discomfort. This may last for several weeks after surgery. To minimize the swelling, utilize the cold therapy unit supplied to you at the time of surgery or ice packs. The cold therapy should be used as often as possible, especially for the first 48 hours. Run the cold therapy unit/place ice packs for 2 hours on then 1 hour off, except while asleep, regularly the FIRST 48 hours. After 48 hours, run the cold therapy unit/place ice packs for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off as much as possible until your post-operative appointment. Make sure to protect your skin by placing a towel between the pad/ice pack and your skin once the bandages have been removed.
Relief of Pain: For mild pain, use medication such as Tylenol. Take 1-2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain. Do not take more than 8 tablets in a 24-hour period. For severe pain, a stronger medication will be prescribed; please take the medication as directed. Do not drink alcohol while taking prescribed medication. If you have had a nerve block, once you feel the block starting to wear off start taking your prescribed pain medication to stay on top of the pain.
Antibiotic and other Medications: Additional medication may be given if you are using a donor graft. Please take the antibiotic as prescribed starting the night of surgery. If any itching or reaction should develop, please contact our office immediately. You are also instructed to take an 81mg aspirin daily for 2 weeks post op to help prevent the formation of a blood clot.
Diet: After surgery, drink lots of fluids and eat a bland, nutritious meal when you return home from the hospital and or surgery center.
Nausea and Vomiting: Although unusual, both can be experienced after anesthesia in surgery. If you have a tendency for this, please discuss this with the anesthesiologist. Otherwise, it is usually alleviated with a clear liquid diet.
Drowsiness: After anesthesia, drowsiness may persist for up to 48 hours.
Activities: A sling has been supplied for your comfort, as well as to limit range of motion after surgery. The exercises explained in the rehab documents should be performed at your tolerance and comfort, starting the day after your surgery. Do not engage in sports or heavy work until your physician gives you permission to do so. No driving while using a sling or while on pain medication.
Postoperative office visit: An appointment for after surgery may have already been set up for you. If not please call our office and make sure a post op appointment was made for you.
Signs of Infection: With any surgery it is important to be aware of signs of infection, which can include: unusual looking incision such as increased redness or smell, drainage to be green or yellow, and increased fever. It is normal to have a slight temperature post operative, but above 101.5 degrees; you should contact our office.
Physical Therapy: This will be discussed at your first post-operative appointment. We will communicate with you when you should start and will give you a prescription for the physical therapy. Please take the rehab protocol with you to your therapist so they can follow it precisely.
Recording of your surgery: Your surgery is recorded and narrated by Dr. Carlson.
Please feel free to contact our office at any time if you have any questions or concerns.
Central Utah Clinic @ (801) 373-7350