Post-operative care for abdominal surgery

February 2, 2024 Post-Hospital Care

Post-operative care for abdominal surgery

Why is post operative care for abdominal surgery important?

Following abdominal surgery, proper post-operative care is essential for a smooth and successful recovery. This is due to the intricate nature of the abdominal region and the potential for various complications. Abdominal surgeries encompasses a wide range of procedures where vital organs and the intricate network of tissues are operated on. Thus, meticulous care is important to ensure optimal healing, minimise the risk of complications, and facilitate a smooth recovery process. Post-operative care tailored to the specific needs of abdominal surgery is crucial for promoting healing, managing pain, preventing infections, and restoring normal function, ultimately enhancing overall outcomes and quality of life.

Importance of rest after abdominal surgery

This period plays a vital role in promoting healing, preventing complications, and ensuring you regain your strength and well-being. Following surgery, your body requires ample rest to allocate resources effectively towards tissue repair and regeneration, minimising physical exertion to avoid disrupting sutures or causing complications like hernias. Resting also alleviates post-operative pain by facilitating the release of endorphins and supports digestive function, aiding in the recovery process. By adhering to prescribed rest periods, you may expedite your recovery.

How to reduce pain?

Pain can be reduced when getting in and out of bed by doing the following:
• Bending your knees
• Rolling onto your side keeping your knees together
• Pushing yourself up to a sitting position using your hands and allowing your legs to swing down to the floor.

When sitting in a chair it is important to be comfortable so you may want to use a pillow to support your back. Furthermore, when you first stand up or start walking around you may be tempted to stoop. It is normal to feel your wound stretch when trying to stand straight. Therefore, try to walk tall and relax your shoulders.

Deep breathing exercises

Regular deep breathing exercises will help to:
• keep your chest clear
• reduce the risk of chest infection
• ease nausea (sickness)
• relax and calm you
• ease wind pains

Place a rolled up towel over the dressing or pad that covers your wound. Place both hands over the towel so you are supporting your wound. It will help if you hold yourself in the same way when you cough, laugh or sneeze.
• Take a slow, deep, comfortable breath in allowing your tummy to rise
• Hold for a moment, and then sigh out
• Do five of these deep breaths
• Then take a few normal breaths
• After that do five more deep breaths

Regular Activity after surgery

Aim to walk every day gradually increasing the distance. You should aim to be able to walk 30 minutes daily by two to three months after your operation. Start walking on level ground and gradually build up to inclines and uneven ground such as cobble paths. Walking on uneven surfaces requires small changes of direction which can cause some discomfort in the healing abdominal muscles. After two to three months you could consider moderate exercise like swimming or cycling. To progress your core stability exercises you could attend a Yoga or Pilates group. However, seek advice from the group’s instructor about an appropriate level of exercise.

Post operative diet for abdominal surgery

As there are a wide range of abdominal surgeries, your surgical team and doctors will be able to give you more insight to the diet you have to follow. The diet and post surgery nutrition recommended to you will have been carefully planned to support healing and complications.

How can Cavendish Homecare help?

At Cavendish Homecare, we provide post-operative care utilising the clinical skills and experience of registered nurses and carers. If you are looking for post-operative nursing care at home please call our Homecare team to see how we can assist your recovery. Our registered nurses are able to personalise your care to suit your individual needs during your convalescence.

If you would like to enquire about our Post-operative Care, contact us on, 02030085210 or email us at

About the Author…

Grace Laudy

Recruitment and Compliance Assistant

Grace Laudy, a dynamic individual driven by a strong passion for making a positive impact on society and excelling in her professional life. Grace is actively involved in her local leisure centre, championing inclusivity in sports for individuals with disabilities. Grace’s compassion extends beyond community involvement to her personal life, where she provides support to a family member living with Parkinson’s disease.

Having transitioned into a pivotal role as a recruitment and compliance assistant at Cavendish Homecare, Grace excels at guiding nurses and carers through the onboarding process and expertly handling the meticulous management of compliance. Grace’s multifaceted contributions showcase her as an exceptional professional with a genuine commitment to making a positive impact on all clients, nurses, and carers.

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