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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Coccygectomy is surgery to remove an unstable, dislocated, or broken coccyx after an injury. The coccyx is a small bone shaped like a triangle that forms the bottom of your spine.
- Medicines may be given to help decrease pain or to prevent a bacterial infection. Ask your healthcare provider how to take prescription pain medicine safely. You may also need a bowel movement softener to prevent constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Ask your healthcare provider when you should return to have your wound checked, and your stitches or drain removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Do not sit on hard surfaces, such as a wooden bench. Sit on a ring or donut-shaped cushion to decrease pressure on the area where the surgery was done. This should be used for 6 weeks after your surgery. Lie down on your side instead of on your back to decrease pressure on the surgery area. Ask your healthcare provider for other ways to prevent pressure on your wound site. Ask which activities are best for you to do after surgery. You may need to allow the wound to heal for a time before you go back to your usual activities.
Wound care and bathing:
- Ask healthcare providers how to clean your wound at home. Ask if you may bathe or take a shower, and if your wound may get wet. If you cannot reach the bandage to change it, ask someone to help you. You may have thin strips of tape on your incision. Keep them clean and dry. As they start to peel off, let them fall off on their own. Do not pull them off.
- You may need to take sitz baths. Fill a bathtub with 4 to 6 inches of warm water. You may also use a sitz bath pan that fits over a toilet. Sit in the sitz bath for 20 minutes. Do this 2 to 3 times a day, or as directed. The warm water can help decrease pain and swelling.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- Your incision looks like it is coming apart, or the stitches break.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
- Your wound is draining blood or pus, or has a bad smell.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.