General surgery

The following instructions aim to provide helpful information that will assist your recovery. These are designed to be general guidelines only and it’s important to bear in mind that everyone recovers differently. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr Gault’s rooms.

  • Pain
  • Diet
  • Wound Care
  • Physical Activity
  • Showering
  • Drain Care
  • When to call your doctor (or us)
  • Follow Up


Some pain is to be expected after your procedure. You will be given a prescription for a pain medication after surgery. Our recommendations are as follows:

  • Please follow the direction on the label
  • Do not drive while taking pain medication
  • Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach as this may make you nauseated
  • Use a stool softener or gentle laxative
  • If you no longer need your prescribed pain medication, you may take over the counter pain medication


Please follow dietary guidelines over the next day or two after surgery as directed by Dr Gault. Do not drink alcohol in the immediate post-operative period while taking pain medication.

Wound Care

If you have a clear see-through bandage over the incision, you may take a shower – this bandage is waterproof. It is not uncommon for some reddish fluid to accumulate under the plastic bandage – there is no cause for alarm. The clear see-through bandage may be removed after three days. It is perfectly fine to leave it on until your follow-up consultation with Dr Gault.

If you have a gauze bandage over the incision, you may remove it after 48 hours. At that time you may shower.

Staples or sutures are generally removed 7-14 days after the operation. Some sutures, especially on the back, need to be left longer. Absorbable sutures under the skin do not need to be removed.

Physical Activity

If at all possible, have someone with you to help you at all times in the first 24 hours after surgery. After this period you may resume your pre-operative level of activity. Listen to your body and rest when you are tired, and do not lift anything heavy (or as directed by your doctor or Dr Gault).

Do not drive a motor vehicle, operate machinery or power tools for at least 24 hours after surgery or while taking any pain medication.


Showers should be quick (no longer than five minutes). Do not soak in the bathtub until instructed by your doctor that you can.

Drain Care

Empty the drain every few hours or as needed. The nurse will explain how the drain works before you are discharged from hospital.

Call Your Doctor/Dr Gault

It is not uncommon to have a low-grade fever after surgery. Phone our rooms if

  • You have a fever over 38C
  • You have new redness around the incision or if pus drains from the incision
  • Severe bleeding occurs. Apply direct pressure to the area.
  • You have severe abdominal pain, any vomiting, or if you get jaundice (a yellow tint to the eyes or skin)

Follow Up

Dr Gault will always schedule you for a follow-up appointment. However, it is important for you to contact us immediately if you experience:

  • Excessive pain or bleeding
  • Fever
  • Abnormal swelling

We are dedicated to doing all we can to make your surgery and post operative experience with us as comfortable as possible. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all about your post-operative care. Most appointments are for 7-14 days following your surgery.