- You are transferred to your room in your bed.
- When you arrive in your room, the nurse will take your vital signs, check your bandage, check your tubes and drains and get you settled.
- The nurse will instruct you about your coughing, deep breathing and foot exercises.
- You will start your diet slowly with liquids. You will have a full liquid dinner.
- I.V. fluids continue for 24 hours until you are able to eat and drink fluids well and not experience nausea.
- It is recommended that you drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day during your hospital stay. Fluids help the healing process and improve circulation.
- If you are on a special diet, it can be ordered for you after surgery. Speak to your nurse, or dietician, if you have any special food needs, preferences or restrictions.
- You may be expected to be out of bed on your first evening, or you may wish to dangle (sit on the side of the bed with the assistance of a nurse).
- The doctor will order a device called an incentive spirometer for you to use. This device helps you to take deep breaths and can help prevent pneumonia.
- A laxative/stool softener will automatically be prescribed. Both pain medication and anesthesia can cause constipation.
Post-Operative Period -
What You Can Expect Following Your Surgery
- You will be getting out of bed the day after surgery with nurses and/or therapists. You will be expected to stay up in a chair 20-30 minutes the first time, then gradually increasing the time out of bed each day.
- Physical therapy will work with you in your room. The first day you will stand, get out of bed to sit in a chair and walk to the doorway.
- Each patient progresses differently. Physical therapy will assist you in increasing your walking distance.
- The nurses will reinforce your spine precautions and activity restrictions. They will take your vital signs every four hours for the first 24 hours. (Heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and respiratory rate.)
- Your urinary (Foley) catheter will be removed either the day of surgery or one day after surgery.
- Your oxygen will be discontinued the day after surgery, unless your doctor decides you need it longer.
- Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) is usually discontinued the morning after surgery.
- After the PCA is stopped, you may have injectable pain medications. Once you are eating or drinking, you will be switched to pain medication in pill form.
St. Vincent's Medicial Center: Surgical expertise when you need it most.
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