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Laparoscopic & Hepatobiliary Surgeon
Speciality
Newtown & Wollstonecraft
Locations

Post-operative instructions Open Liver Surgery

Pain and Discomfort:

Moderate discomfort after your surgery is normal.
For pain relief: take Panadol, Panadeine, Panadeine Forte, or Endone as prescribed.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (egBrufen) can also be taken if the discomfort is still troublesome. This will work together with Panadol type drugs.
Most patients cannot move freely without pain or sleep absolutely comfortably for some weeks, but it does improve week by week.
Mild discomfort is normal even months after surgery.

Dressings:

You can shower within 12 hours after your surgery.
The dressings are waterproof and will resist water from a shower.
You should not take a bath or swim until the wounds are dry.
Keep the waterproof dressings in place for 1 week.
Peel the dressings off just before a shower at 1 week after surgery.
There will be a little blood stained fluid under the dressings, just rinse it off in the shower and dab dry with a clean towel.

Wounds:

Wounds are usually closed with staples, these will be removed prior to discharge and replaced with steri-strips.
The paper steri-strips can be peeled off after a week or when they start to lift on their own.
After major liver surgery, small areas of weeping from the wound are relatively common. If the fluid is not offensive, there is no redness or other signs of infection then just manage these with simple absorption dressings until they dry up.

  • If it is very wet or you are worried about infection then contact Doctor Crawford or your GP as soon as possible

Activity:

It is recommended that you have 14-28 days off work and no heavy lifting (more than a chair) for 6 weeks .
You should avoid rigorous, competitive sport for 6-8 weeks.
You can drive as soon as you can safely control the vehicle (usually a few weeks after surgery).

Diet:

A normal diet will be commenced before you leave hospital.
It is recommended that you continue to supplement your diet with protein/energy drinks such as resource or sustagen for a month or so.
It is usual to continue to lose a little weight for the first few weeks as healing and liver regeneration continues.

Other issues with liver surgery:

Leg swelling: is common, don’t worry too much if it is mild, reducing and on both sides
Jaundice: (A yellow discolouration especially in the whites of the eyes) is not usual Dr Crawford should be informed if this develops after surgery
Depression, sleep disturbance: Even after successful surgery it is not unusual for patients to get ‘down in the dumps’ following major surgery. Please try to get outside (see the sun), reduce day time naps, and exercise which will help to ensure a good night’s sleep and improve your mood. Patients feel tired for longer than they would expect, usually for at least 6 weeks

Pathology:

Pathology results are usually not available prior to discharge. They will be discussed with you at your post-operative visit. Dr Crawford will be in touch if there is something you need to know before then.

Medications:

Take routine medications from the day after surgery. Any additional medications will be prescribed and explained prior to discharge If in doubt check with Dr Crawford

Follow Up:

If you have not already booked a follow up appointment, please phone the rooms and book an appointment for 3-4 weeks’ time

Contact Numbers:

Dr Crawford (Newtown and Mater Rooms) 02 9565 4854
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 02 9515 6111
The Mater Hospital 02 9900 7300

www.drmichaelcrawford.com.au

Post-operative instructions Open Liver Surgery