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Getting Back to the Normal 

For most people whatever their age, it will take three months or longer to recover from colorectal surgery.                                                      

During the first three to four weeks at home you will be tired and weak. The length of time between your return to work following this type of surgery will depend upon the type of work you do. For the first six weeks you are advised not to lift anything heavy such as shopping and wet washing. Do not lift anything heavier than a full kettle, and do not do anything strenuous like digging the garden or mowing the lawn. Your consultant will review your progress within a few weeks following your surgery. At that point you can seek their advice regarding returning to any heavy exercise.

You should not drive until you can do an emergency stop without hesitation for fear that your wound will hurt. Drivers wishing to drive after surgery should establish with their own doctors when it is safe to drive. It is advisable to check your car insurance policy as there may be a written clause about driving after operations, often this is six weeks from the date of surgery.

You may resume sexual intercourse when you feel comfortable. This will depend on the surgery performed. If you are unsure, please speak to one of the colorectal team. If you live alone and have no friends or family to help you, please let us know and we will try and
organise some help or convalescence for you.

COMMON ISSUES

We hope that after having one of the operations described in our surgery section, you will not have any issues.

 If you do, please do not hesitate to contact your colorectal nurse who can give advice and support over the telephone, or while at The London Clinic.

The common functional issues are constipation, diarrhoea or alternating bouts from one to the other. With constipation it is important to eat a high fibre diet, mobilize gently, and to drink at least two litres of fluid each day. This can be made up of soup, tea, coffee, juice, or squash, although it is advisable to avoid too much tea and coffee because they contain caffeine and can cause dehydration. Sometimes
kiwi fruit or prune juice will help you empty your bowels.

If you experience diarrhoea it is important to keep drinking to keep your body hydrated. One to two re-hydration sachets (such as Dioralyte) or one to two bottles of a sports drink (such as Gatorade) will help hydrate you. At least one glass of water should
be consumed each hour. Try to avoid food and dairy products for 24 hours, and when the diarrhoea subsides eat dry bland food, toast, crackers, etc., and slowly introduce foods such as white rice, peanut butter, marshmallows, jelly babies, arrowroot biscuits, mashed potato,
cereal, toast, bananas, and pasta. A diet sheet will be available for you if you have a stoma.

If these symptoms persist it is important to contact your GP or consultant who may prescribe the appropriate medication.

Main switchboard: +44 (0) 207 935 4444

Treatment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7693Consultant appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7693 Prices for self funding patients: +44 (0) 203 219 3315Physiotherapy appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7651X-ray and scan appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653Invoice and payment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7708

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