If your prescription was not mailed to your pharmacy before surgery, upon discharge from the hospital, you will be given a prescription for pain medication. Because pain medication can be constipating, be sure to drink lots of fluids and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It will also be helpful to take a stool softener such as Senokot or Colace twice a day. Citrucel or Benefiber are good fiber supplements that can be taken once or twice a day in order to prevent constipation .
ICE can be used to alleviate your discomfort. It is safe to ice the incision area and below for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day during the first few days after surgery.
If you are unable to have a bowel movement following surgery, a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia may be used. Being up and about after surgery is also helpful in regulating bowel function. To minimize pain when you are moving about, support your incision with a small pillow or rolled up towel. Sleeping with a pillow under or between your knees will relieve stress on the incision area.
Most patients can take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead of the prescription medicine. Ibuprofen(Advil) or Naproxen (Aleve) can often be taken in addition to the Tylenol or your prescription. Since most pain medicine can be taken every 8 hours, some people find it helpful to take Acetaminophen every 8 hours and Ibuprofen every 8 hours, but staggered by 4 hours, thus taking something for pain every 4 hours and avoiding narcotics all together. For example, a patient might take Ibuprofen at 1:00 pm, 9:00pm and 5:00 am and Tylenol at 9:00 am, 5pm, and 1 am if needed.
Please read the instructions provided while you were in the hospital, or the bottle of your over the counter medicine if you have questions about this.