You will need to keep your incision area clean, dry, and protected. Change your dressings the way your doctor or nurse taught you.
If sutures (stitches), staples, or glue were used to close your skin, you may take a shower.
If tape strips (Steri-strips) were used to close your skin, cover the wounds with plastic wrap before showering for the first week. Do not try to wash the Steri-strips off. Let them fall off on their own.
Do not soak in a bathtub or hot tub, or go swimming, until your doctor tells you it is okay.
Eat a normal diet. Drink 4 to 8 glasses of water or liquids a day, unless your doctor tells you not to.
If you have hard stools:
Try to walk and be more active, but don’t overdo it.
If you can, take less of some of the pain medicines your doctor gave you. Some can cause constipation.
Try a stool softener. You can get these at any pharmacy without a prescription.
Ask your doctor or nurse what laxatives you can take.
Ask your doctor about foods that are high in fiber, or try psyllium (Metamucil).
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor or nurse if:
Your temperature is above 100.5 °F.
Your surgical wounds are bleeding, are red or warm to the touch, or have a thick, yellow, green, or milky drainage.
Your belly swells or hurts.
You have nausea or vomiting more than 24 hours.
You have pain that does not get better when you take your pain medicines.
It is hard to breathe.
You have a cough that does not go away.
You cannot drink or eat.
You cannot pee (urinate).
Novick AC. Open surgery of the kidney. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 50.
Erik T. Goluboff, MD, Professor, Department of Urology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.