General and Gastrointestinal Surgery


You can do whatever you are comfortable doing, except heavy lifting, after you are discharged. You can not cause any serious damage by your activities after your surgery.  Nonetheless, use common sense and do not over exert yourself. 

Here are some tips:

  • For 24 to 48 hours after surgery you will most likely not want to do much.  Although you should get rest during this time, it is equally important to get up and walk.
  • Do not drive while you are taking narcotic pain medicines and while your incisions hurt.  This may reduce your ability to move quickly.
  • Your thought processes may take 24 to 48 hours to return to normal because of anesthesia. Do not make any important business or personal decisions during this time.  
  • It is okay to go up and down stairs, and it is encouraged. 
  • You can return to work when you feel comfortable you can perform your job safely and at the level you and your employer expect. Usually this is a minimum of one week. If your job involves heavy lifting you should stay out of work for 2-4 weeks.
  • Most people find they fatigue easily during the second and even the third week, so don't overload your schedule.