Before Surgery

Your doctor will schedule you for pre-admission testing; this may include blood work, x-rays, or an electrocardiogram (EKG). You may also be scheduled for an anesthesia consultation where you will meet with a member of the anesthesia department.

  • You will receive a phone call from a nurse at the Medical Center who will ask you some general questions about your health. This is a good time for you to ask any questions you might have.
  • Depending on your medical condition and the type of medications you are taking, a member of the Anesthesia Department may meet with you before your surgery.

The Day of Surgery

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight

  • The morning of your surgery, you will be asked to come to the medical center two hours before your scheduled surgery time.
  • A nurse will meet with you to answer any questions and give you further information about your surgery. A family member is welcome to stay with you.
  • An IV line may be started. This line will be used to give you fluids and medicines during surgery. After surgery the IV line may be connected to a Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump. Your nurse will explain how you use the PCA pump to control your pain.
  • Once you are taken to surgery, your family members will be directed to the Surgical Lounge. They will be informed when your surgery is over and when you are on the way back to your room from the Recovery Room.

Following Surgery

  • Your nurse will closely monitor you immediately after surgery and help assist you with your personal needs.
  • Pain will be controlled with the PCA pump. Please let your nurse know if the medication is not working.
  • A catheter may be in your bladder to drain urine. It is usually removed the next day.
  • To keep your lungs clear and healthy, your nurse will ask you to cough and deep breathe every two hours. You may also have a special breathing apparatus to help your lungs stay clear.
  • You may have special stockings on your legs to promote normal blood flow and help prevent blood clots.
  • Your nurse will help you to sit at the side of the bed and take a short walk today, if you are able. You may be dizzy or lightheaded after surgery, therefore, do not attempt to get up or walk without help.
  • You may be able to take some ice chips or sips of clear liquids.

The First Day After Surgery

  • Your temperature, pulse and blood pressure will be checked every 4-8 hours.
  • The bandages on your incision will be removed.
  • Usually your catheter will be removed and you will be asked to save your urine. Tell your nurse if you have trouble urinating.
  • Your nurse will help you shower and take care of your personal needs.

Medications and Treatments

  • The PCA pump will be removed when the IV is taken out. You will now take pain medication by mouth. You will need to ask for your medication. Let your nurse know if it is not working.
  • It is important to continue to cough and deep breathe to keep your lungs clear.
  • You will be able to discontinue wearing the special stockings.

Activity and Diet

  • Plan on walking in the hall at least 3-4 times today. You may still need help with walking.
  • When you can pass gas or have a bowel movement, you may have regular food to eat.

The Second Day After Surgery

  • This is usually the day you will go home.
  • Your nurse will teach you how to care for your incision and give you activity instructions for use at home.
  • You will be on a regular diet today and should drink a lot of fluids.
  • Any prescriptions you may need will be given to you before you go home.
  • You should be up walking at least 3-4 times today.

Going Home

You will be given instructions on caring for your incision, diet, activity and medications. Your doctor will let you know when you should schedule an office visit after your surgery. Please ask your doctor or nurse any questions or concerns you may have before going home.

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