Bandages and Dressings:

Keep all dressings clean and dry for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours you may remove the bulky dressings and place band-aids over the surgical portals. Thereafter you may shower and replace band-aids each time. Expect some drainage through the dressing for the first 24-48 hours. This is a normal part of wound healing. The drainage is comprised mostly of saline solution utilized during the procedure.  Follow these directions unless your doctor has told you differently.

Apply ice 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off for the first 3 days to help control pain and swelling. Do not get dressing wet.  You can use a zip-lock bag with a washcloth over the surgical site but never directly over the skin.

Apply cold therapy as instructed by your physician, if cooling bladder has been provided.  Do not apply this for any longer than 2 hours at a time.


Start pendulum exercises with your operative arm, 20 clockwise and 20 counter-clockwise hourly while awake; work up to 50.

____ your arm in the immobilizer until seen by your doctor in order to protect the repair.

____ There was no repair and you can move your arm as needed.

Move your hands and fingers as well as your elbow after you gently remove your arm from the immobilizer.

General Instructions

The pain relievers prescribed by your doctor will usually relieve discomfort or pain. DO NOT take any aspirin products. Take your pain medication with food. Do not combine alcohol and pain pills.

Resume diet gradually. Begin with clear liquids and progress as you feel ready.

Do not drink alcohol, sign any important papers or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours after surgery.

Rest after your surgery. You may feel dizzy, lightheaded or sleepy for 12 to 24 hours after your operation. This is perfectly normal. Move slowly, and be especially careful on stairs. You should not drive or operate any mechanical or electrical devices until this feeling has worn off. On the following day you can do those activities that you feel able to do and within 3 to 4 days resume all normal activities or as instructed by your doctor. After a general anesthetic it is normal to feel a generalized aching and to have sore muscles for 24 to 48 hours. A sore throat may also occur.

A low-grade temperature is not uncommon after surgery. If your temperature exceeds 101°F, however, contact us.


Any prescriptions you receive after surgery should be filled immediately and taken according to the directions on the label.

Narcotic medications can cause nausea as well as vomiting. Constipation is also a side effect from these medications and you may need to take over the counter stool softeners.

_____ May take over the counter anti-inflammatories such as Aleve, Motrin, etc.  These medications should only be taken if no contraindications are present such history of allergies, kidney disease or ulcers.


Report any of the following:

  • Prolonged drainage
  • Signs of infection(redness, pus, worsening of pain, increase warmth)
  • Fever >101°F
  • Coolness or bluish discoloration of the arm and hand.

Call our office with any questions or surgical issues at (209) 216-5900!