It will take time to regain your strength and endurance after your
operation, but eventually your activity level should get back to normal.
Follow these guidelines when you get home:
Do the muscle toning exercises that you began in the hospital two times
Do not lift anything that weighs more than 10 to 15 pounds (no more
than a gallon of milk) until six weeks after the surgery. This includes
babies, children and groceries.
After six weeks, you may gradually begin to lift heavier items if it
does not cause discomfort around your incision.
Walking and stair climbing are excellent exercises for maintaining
muscle tone and strength. Consider walking five to ten minutes a day
when you first get home, and slowly increasing the time you walk each
Do not do any strenuous exercise such as contact sports, jogging,
tennis, sexual activity, or body conditioning (weightlifting, push-ups,
sit-ups, etc.) for at least two months after you go home. Talk to your
hepatobiliary doctor or nurse before you resume these types of
It is normal to tire easily. Pace yourself, and rest when you are
You should not drive after leaving the hospital. Some of the medicines you
are taking can have side effects that affect your ability to drive safely.
You and your doctors must be sure these side effects, such as sleepiness,
tremors, muscle weakness, and blurry vision, are under control before you
get behind the wheel.
You must also be sure your attention is focused on the road and not on your
incision. You should be sure that you could quickly turn the wheel and step
on the gas or brakes without being held back by discomfort in your
incision. Any pain medication you are taking may interfere with your
concentration or ability to stay awake while driving.
When you are feeling stronger, talk with your hepatobiliary team about when
you can start to drive again. Wait until your doctor or nurse says it is
okay. This precaution is an issue of safety for you and others on the road.
Returning to Work
Talk to your hepatobiliary team about the best time to go back to work or
school. We are happy to provide you with a letter to verify that you have
needed time off from work or classes for medical reasons.
People with hepatobiliary disease must pay close attention to diet and
nutrition. Healthy eating can make a big difference in your immediate and
long-term health and wellness. In fact, making healthy food choices is a
good idea not only for you as a patient, but also for everyone in your
Our nutritionist is available to provide specific diet education - meal
plans, recipes and other materials - based on your individual needs. We
encourage you to make an appointment so we can create a healthy eating plan
for some specific information about diet therapy to manage complications
from liver disease, including ascites and encephalopathy.