What to expect after cancer surgery with home care

February 17, 2021 at 7:00 AM
What to expect after cancer surgery with home care

Having surgery is a scary experience. Cancer surgery can be exceptionally nerve-wracking. While it’s typical to primarily focus on the procedure after surgery home care is just as important as knowing what to expect. The team at Miami Valley Homecare has put together a list of six things that you can expect after cancer surgery.

Tubes and drains

It’s common to remain hooked up to tubes or drains after having surgery. Something like an intravenous infusion, or a drip, is common to make sure that you’re getting the fluids and nutrients that you need until you can go back to eating normally again. A drain is a tube that comes directly out of the wound to ensure that excess fluid doesn’t build up and lead to infection. This tube is usually removed within a few days of surgery. Finally, having a catheter in place is common to help you urinate until you’re able to start walking again.

Eating and drinking

While most people are able to go back to eating and drinking the same day as surgery or even the day after, there are times that you will need to follow your physician’s advice and wait. This can be the case after a mouth, throat, stomach, or bowel procedure. A home care professional will also help you get foods that are good at dealing with any post-surgery symptoms you might be experiencing.

Pain management

Pain management is an important part of after-surgery home care. Surgical pain can linger and usually requires strong pain medication to keep it at a minimum. Opioids are often prescribed for post-surgery pain management, so it’s crucial to monitor how much and how often you’re taking medication. These drugs are highly addictive and can lead to larger health issues.

Wound care

Your healthcare professional will give you advice regarding proper wound care before you leave the hospital or surgical center. It’s recommended that mild soap and warm water are used to clean then pat dry the area. This is to ensure that your wound does not get worse or infected. If a family member is not willing or able to assist with wound care, you can get after-surgery home care from an agency and a professional will assist with care.


After days of sitting, it’s common to want to get up and get moving before we’re ready. Rest is a crucial part of recovery after any procedure, but it’s especially important after surgery. Too much movement or even movement in the wrong direction can tug on stitches and re-open a wound that hasn’t fully healed. Be sure to continue to rest and get help with everyday tasks around the house if needed.


Yes, we just said it’s important to rest. However, once you’re able to get up and move around, you should. You’re going to need to build up strength in the area where surgery was performed, so a physical therapist will likely give you exercises that you can do to get moving and get your strength back. Be sure to take it slow and don’t strain yourself beyond what is recommended by your care providers.

Get in touch for assistance

If you or a loved one are looking for after-surgery home care, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Miami Valley Homecare. We can assist with care after cancer surgery to make sure that you’re healing properly. Give our team a call at 937-671-2273 or send us a message via our contact form.