Postoperative care

Quality Statement 6

After repair of a third or fourth degree perineal tear, a woman receives postoperative care that includes the opportunity for debriefing, physiotherapy and psychosocial support.

Purpose

To ensure that a woman receives postoperative care during admission that optimises her recovery from a third or fourth degree perineal tear. To ensure that if it is not possible to provide this care before the woman leaves hospital, arrangements are made for her to obtain this care soon after discharge.

For women

After surgery, you may have medicines to help manage pain and constipation, and to prevent infection. A urinary catheter may be used for a short period to drain urine out of your body, because it will be hard for you to urinate normally.

While in hospital, you will have an opportunity to discuss your birth experience with a member of your healthcare team. They will discuss the repair, how to look after your injury at home, what to expect while recovering, how to manage breastfeeding if medicines are required, what symptoms to look out for, who to contact if you have any concerns and any follow-up care required.

You may also see a healthcare professional with experience in pelvic floor health, such as a physiotherapist, who will support your recovery.

If you feel unsettled or distressed, you may like to meet with a psychologist who can provide emotional support, or a social worker who may be able to arrange help with your daily activities at home.

If you leave hospital before having these appointments, arrangements will be made for you to obtain this care soon afterwards. Before leaving hospital, ask if any follow-up appointments have been scheduled for you.

For clinicians

While the woman is in hospital, give her an opportunity to discuss her recent experience with the clinician(s) present during the birth and to ask them questions. Ensure that the woman is given information about her medicines, how to care for her injury at home, what to expect while recovering, symptoms to look out for and who to contact if she has any concerns. Provide information about follow-up care required in the short and long term.

Arrange an appointment with a healthcare professional with experience in pelvic floor health such as a physiotherapist, as well as with a psychologist, or social worker if she is likely to need support or assistance at home.

If this care cannot be provided before the woman leaves hospital, arrange an appointment so she can obtain care soon afterwards.

Ensure that the woman’s discharge summary notes the care received and any follow-up required.

For health service organisations

Ensure that policies, procedures and protocols support clinicians to provide appropriate postoperative care including access to services such as debriefing, physiotherapy, and psychosocial support services.

Ensure discharge policies support appropriate follow-up post-discharge.

For women

After surgery, you may have medicines to help manage pain and constipation, and to prevent infection. A urinary catheter may be used for a short period to drain urine out of your body, because it will be hard for you to urinate normally.

While in hospital, you will have an opportunity to discuss your birth experience with a member of your healthcare team. They will discuss the repair, how to look after your injury at home, what to expect while recovering, how to manage breastfeeding if medicines are required, what symptoms to look out for, who to contact if you have any concerns and any follow-up care required.

You may also see a healthcare professional with experience in pelvic floor health, such as a physiotherapist, who will support your recovery.

If you feel unsettled or distressed, you may like to meet with a psychologist who can provide emotional support, or a social worker who may be able to arrange help with your daily activities at home.

If you leave hospital before having these appointments, arrangements will be made for you to obtain this care soon afterwards. Before leaving hospital, ask if any follow-up appointments have been scheduled for you.

For clinicians

While the woman is in hospital, give her an opportunity to discuss her recent experience with the clinician(s) present during the birth and to ask them questions. Ensure that the woman is given information about her medicines, how to care for her injury at home, what to expect while recovering, symptoms to look out for and who to contact if she has any concerns. Provide information about follow-up care required in the short and long term.

Arrange an appointment with a healthcare professional with experience in pelvic floor health such as a physiotherapist, as well as with a psychologist, or social worker if she is likely to need support or assistance at home.

If this care cannot be provided before the woman leaves hospital, arrange an appointment so she can obtain care soon afterwards.

Ensure that the woman’s discharge summary notes the care received and any follow-up required.

For health service organisations

Ensure that policies, procedures and protocols support clinicians to provide appropriate postoperative care including access to services such as debriefing, physiotherapy, and psychosocial support services.

Ensure discharge policies support appropriate follow-up post-discharge.

Read quality statement 7 - Preventive eye medicines