Mr Adam Howard MBBS BSc MD FRCS Laparoscopic and Vascular Consultant Surgeon
Mr Adam Howard MBBS BSc MD FRCSLaparoscopic and Vascular Consultant Surgeon

What to do after surgery

Day of surgery -  after surgery under general anaesthetic you will take a few hours to wake up. Pain relief will be provided. Major surgery often requires a PCA pump or an epidural for pain relief. Eating and drinking can restart after returning to your bed for day surgery cases. Major surgery may take longer for eating to recommence but drinking water is usually fine to start immediately. Mr Howard will see you after the surgery for instructions and give you advice with a leaflet to take home.


First night home - once at home please try to rest with your legs elevated and mobilise every hour until you go to sleep.  A small walk around the garden with your stockings on is good for your venous circulation and prevention of DVTs.


Stockings - will be provided if indicated and should be worn for 4 weeks with daily walks to prevent DVT after general anaesthetic. These can washed and tumble-dried.


Dressings and washing - Dressings should be keep in place for 5 days. Most are semi- waterproof and gentle showering can take place after 2 days.  Wrapping the leg dressing in clingfilm can help keep the dressing area dry during a shower or leg covers from a chemist are useful. 


Sutures and steristrips - if your sutures are absorbable then they will dissolve. Permanent suture material such as nylon, needs to be removed after 2-3 weeks in most cases, either by your practice nurse, the Oaks out-patient nurses or Mr Howard. Steristrips are paper sutures used after varicose vein and day surgery and these will come off when the dressing is removed at 5 days.


Driving - should be avoided for 5 days after most leg or hernia surgery. Major operations such as bypasses, aneurysms and carotid surgery will need a month off driving.


Activity - please carry out daily walks, starting with 5-10 minutes' duration and build up appropriately. Running, swiimming and gym exercise needs to wait for one month after hernia and abdominal surgery. Cyclist endofibrosis surgery needs three months off running and cycliing please in order to prevent damage to the artery patch.


Bruising - minmally invasive surgery has small incisions but still may have significant bruising. Please don't be alarmed as it will settle after 3-4 weeks.


DVT prevention - clexane heparin injections may be needed on a daily basis for 14-28 days if you are at risk of DVT. Stockings and walks will also be needed.


Drugs and medications - most can restart and your doctors will advise. Blood thinners will need to restart usually 48 hours post surgery


Work and sick leave - one to two weeks is often required off work after day surgery and longer for major operations depending on your job. A sick note will be signed by Mr Howard on discharge.


Follow up and histology - Letters will be sent to your GP on discharge and Mr Howard will see you at 4 weeks post operation to check healing, strength of repair and give advice on further activity. Histology results will be provided. Urgent appointments before 4 weeks can be arranged through Megan Wood if there are problems.


If in doubt please telephone Megan!

How to contact us

Oaks Hospital

Personal Assistant for Mr Adam Howard - 

Megan Wood



Phone 01206 522413

Mobile & Text 07596 895974 


Oaks Hospital, Mile End Road,  
Colchester, Essex


Hospital Phone 

01206 752121 


East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Secretary for Mr Adam Howard - Nadine Martin

Phone 01206 742454

Colchester University Hospital, Turner Road, Colchester, Essex