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FFS Postop Instructions



Please rest in bed with your head elevated for six hours following your surgery. You may lie in bed, but it is best to try to sleep with the head elevated to help alleviate drainage and swelling. Assistance out of the bed may be necessary. Gradually resume activity excluding bending, reaching, and lifting until instructed otherwise.



Leave the dressings intact after surgery. Anticipate some bloody drainage on the dressings. Only blue or black sutures need to be removed. All other sutures are absorbable. In some cases, staples may need to be removed 12-14 days postoperatively. You may have a drain inserted and this will be removed at your first postoperative appointment.



Please DO NOT shower while the dressings are in place. Sponge bathing or sitz baths are fine; please use care to keep dressings dry at all times.



You may begin a liquid diet and increase to your usual diet as tolerated.



Narcotic pain medication can cause constipation in some patients.  You may take a stool softener such as Colace to help prevent constipation.



Please do not expect pain to be equal on each side. We will write you a prescription for pain medication. The pain medication is to be used as prescribed and you may switch to Extra Strength Tylenol at any time.


Arnica can be taken orally one day prior to surgery and for two weeks postoperatively to help reduce swelling.


****Postoperative pain medications can no longer be called into pharmacies. Please contact our office before noon on Friday in order to arrange pick up of a paper prescription if you anticipate needing additional medications. Medications will not be called in over the weekend.****




An appointment card has been given to you at the preoperative appointment indicating the dates and times of your visits. Your dressing will be removed at this appointment and postoperative care instructions will be given.


For any of the below situations, please phone the office during normal business hours with any questions.  


**Swelling and bruising are normal postoperative occurrences; you can use ice to decrease this (20 min on/20 off). This may also travel with gravity and is normal. Arnica tablets can be purchased over the counter and taken for two weeks postoperatively to help reduce swelling.


**Postoperative pain is a normal postoperative occurrence; please take the medication as prescribed- Do not take NSAIDs or aspirin as this can contribute to postoperative bleeding


**Itching is a normal side effect of postoperative pain medication; if you experience itching without a rash, you may take over the counter Benadryl or stop taking the medication and switch to extra strength Tylenol. If a rash is present with itching, discontinue the use of medication and take Benadryl as directed.


**Nausea is a normal side effect of postoperative pain medication; if you experience nausea, you should discontinue the prescription pain medication and contact our office for another prescription or use extra strength Tylenol.


**Constipation is a normal side effect of postoperative pain medication; you may take an over the counter laxative or stool softener.


All other calls should be directed to our office during our normal business hours below.


Office:  (415) 625-3230        

OFFICE HOURS:  Monday- Thursday, 9 am- 3 pm    Friday, 9 am- noon