FYI » All Procedures FAQs

Can I drink or eat on the day of surgery? Should I take any of my medications the morning of surgery?

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your surgery. This includes gum, water, coffee and all food. You may take essential medications with a small sip of water on the morning of surgery.

When can I restart my aspirin or NSAIDS?

Do not take aspirin-containing medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks before and one week after your surgery. Tylenol® is okay. If you have questions about a medication, ask Dr. Peters.

Where will I have my surgery done?

Dr. Peters performs surgeries in three different locations: the office operating suite, Seattle Surgery Center (a freestanding surgery center) and Swedish Medical Center.

Where will my escort wait during my surgery, can they leave and come back, when can they see me in recovery?

Your escort may wait in the waiting area during your surgery, or leave and return at an approximated discharge time determined by the facility where you are having your surgery. Please leave an escort contact number with the staff so that they can call if surgery runs ahead or behind the scheduled time.

When will I meet with my anesthesiologist?

The day of surgery, before you are taken into the operating room, you will meet your anesthesiologist. At this time, your anesthesiologist will review with you your medical history.

How long will I stay in recovery?

Recovery times can very for each person. Average recovery times for same day surgery are one to two hours. The goal is to have you in your own comfortable environment as soon as you are awake and stable.

What should I eat after surgery?

Eat light meals and maintain your fluid intake. Avoid foods that are greasy, spicy, and high in fat content as these may cause nausea. You may feel your stomach is full after eating just a small amount of food. Try to avoid constipation by including fiber supplement (such a Metamucil) or a laxative daily.

How and when should I contact Dr. Peters after office hours?

If you have severe nausea, vomiting, or dehydration, excessive bleeding or swelling, chills, fever or leg cramps, or if you have not urinated in more than six hours, call Dr. Peters for further instructions. Any severe problems like shortness of breath or chest pain, call 911. You can contact Dr. Peters by calling the office number (206) 215-6221; the answering service will page her.

How often will I come to see Dr. Peters after surgery?

The typical visits occur one day, one week, one month, three months, and one year after surgery. Dr. Peters will see you as frequently as needed if there are concerns about healing.

Can I take Arnica before or after surgery, do you recommend any other herbal treatment to facilitate recovery?

Arnica and most herbal treatment have not been FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved to facilitate recovery after surgery. Dr. Peters endorses only treatments that are proven effective with scientific evidence and are FDA approved but she is not opposed to your normal regimen of supplements. There are some herbal and dietary supplements to avoid two weeks before and after surgery. A list will be provided to you at your first visit. These supplements can cause problems with bleeding before and after surgery, healing of surgical incisions, alterations in electrolyte levels, or may interfere with medications used during surgery.


Why do my scars look pink, raised and firm?

Incision lines start out pink, firm, and sometimes raised for around six to twelve weeks. The next several months the scar may stay the same and then begin to gradually fade.A scar can take one to two years to get to its best appearance.

How should I care for my incisions and how long should I use these products?

Scientific evidence does not show that Vitamin E helps post operative scars. Dr. Peters recommends using a micropore paper tape over the incision line for two months. You should change the tape every four to five days to avoid irritating the skin. After two months of taping you can use a product called Scarfade® or Mederma®. Other treatments for scars are selected in certain situations to get the best outcome. Dr. Peters will make recommendations for you based on your skin type and capacity for making good scars.

How long should I expect pain? When can I use ibuprofen?

Pain levels differ for each person. The highest pain levels usually occur the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Use your pain medication as prescribed to control your pain. Over the first week, as the pain lessons, you will not need as much medication. You may only need pain medication when you’ve been more active or have trouble sleeping because you are sore. You can use just Tylenol® or ibuprofen when you are ready to stop taking a narcotic. Do not start ibuprofen for one week after your surgery.

What should I do if I can’t urinate?

You should be able to urinate sometime in the first six hours after you get home. Call us if you have a full bladder but cannot empty it or if you have not urinated in over six hours.

What should I do if I can’t have a bowel movement for several days?

Anesthesia and narcotic medication can cause constipation. It is important to keep well hydrated as well as increase the amount of fiber in your diet. If you are unable to have a bowel movement within the first few days you should start using a bulk forming laxative like Metamucil® or Citrucel® which helps absorb water into the stomach and intestines. Call us if you have no results.

How active should I be the first day/week/month? When can I exercise or lift weights?

Activity level is dependent on the type of procedure that you had but most people feel sleepy and a little dizzy the day of surgery. Sleep is important for your recovery. You will be able to get up to the bathroom and walk around the house. It is good to ambulate several times a day for the first 24 to 48 hours to help aid your recovery. The first week try to do a little more each day and listen to your body. Rest when you feel tried. When you feel like you are ready for more exercise, you can take walks but no cardio, weight-lifting, or jarring exercises for one month.

When can I drive?

You can not drive a vehicle if you are under the influence of a narcotic pain medication. Once your pain level is low and you feel capable of driving you may drive. Take short trip or bring someone with you the first few trips out. Many times you feel good at the beginning of the trip and then start feeling poorly.

When can I go back to work?

Returning to work is dependent on the type of surgery you’ve had and the level of activity required for your job. Dr. Peters will inform you of the amount of time you should be away from work – usually one to two weeks are required.

When can I go in a hot tub or bathtub, or swim?

Soaking in a hot tub, bathtub, or going in a swimming pool should not be done until the incision areas are closed and well healed, usually in three to four weeks. Public pools are more concerning than your own private tub but regardless, soaking can allow water into your surgical area and increase your risk for infection. Active swimming should not be attempted for at least four weeks after surgery.

How long should I wait after surgery to drink coffee or alcohol?

You should start with a light, easy to digest diet. Coffee could cause nausea for some people immediately after surgery. You may attempt coffee if you are tolerating liquids and food without a problem. Do not drink alcohol for the first 24 hours after surgery or if you are still taking your pain medication.