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What to Expect During Your Stay

Day of Surgery

You will get out of bed today and walk at least 15 feet and will be able to sit up in a chair with the assistance of either nursing or therapy.  In addition to walking it is important for you to do your bed exercises as taught to you by therapy.  If you had your surgery early in the day, you will get up in the chair that evening.  It is important that you do your bed exercises.  The staff will remind you to do your bed exercises every 2 hours while you are in bed.

Your diet will be advanced to a regular diet as soon as you can tolerate solid food.

A respiratory therapist or your nurse will show you how to use an incentive spirometry device (IS).   Use it ever hour while awake.  You will need to cough and deep breathe every 2 hours.  This is important because it helps to increase lung expansion, minimize the development of pneumonia and helps the lungs get rid of the anesthesia.

You will have an IV during your admission.  Your pain medication will be given via epidural, PCA (patient controlled anesthesia device) or by an injection into your IV.  Pain control is very important.  You will be asked to rate your pain on a scale of 0-10.  This is important for the nurses to know if you are receiving adequate pain control.  Please let your nurse know if your pain is not controlled.  If your pain is under control you will be able to participate in your therapies.

You will have elastic stockings on both legs and inflatable plastic sleeves.  They will be removed for a short time every day.  The plastic sleeves and elastic stocking are important because they promise circulation by “milking” the legs and prevent development of blood clots.

Post-op Day 1

The lab will visit you early in the morning to draw your blood.

Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) will work with you today.  PT will continue to increase the distance you are walking.  OT will do an evaluation and work on lower extremity dressing.  Your goal today is to ambulate three times in the hallway outside of your room.  Be sure to do your bed exercises every 2 hours!

Your IV, PCA or epidural will be discontinued early today.   Ask for your oral pain medication every 4 hours if you need it.  Your nurse will still be monitoring your pain control.

Your drainage device will be removed today or tomorrow depending on the amount of drainage.

The nursing staff will help you with your bed bath.

What is your pain score today?  You will be converted from your epidural or PCA to an oral pain medication.  Are you comfortable enough to move, eat, and rest?  You may receive your blood thinner as well as your other medications.  Based on your progress you may be able to go home today.

Post-op Day 2

The lab will be in to visit you early in the morning to draw your blood.  Today is most likely your discharge day. You will continue to work with PT and OT.

Continue to use your IS every 2 hours. Our goal is to continue to have you walk outside your room.  Nursing will prepare you to manage your care upon discharge home.

Keep your elastic stockings on continuously and the plastic sleeves on while in bed.  Your dressing will be changed daily.  Ask the nurse about signs and symptoms of infection and blood clots.

You should be on your regular diet and should sit up in the chair for all of your meals.