Your Hospital Stay and Early Recovery
It is important to get your recovery started on the right foot and this begins almost immediately after surgery. You will likely be groggy and unstable on your feet for an hour or two after your surgical procedure.
However, as the anesthesia wears off, you will be encouraged to get up and walk around as much as you can tolerate without significant discomfort. We do this to avoid blood clots also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) that can occur as a result of any surgical procedure. The increased circulation to your legs and the rest of the body not only reduces the chance of blood clots but can also help avoid infection and speed up your recovery.
During your stay at the hospital, which may be as little as one night or up to three nights, depending on the procedure, you will be visited by your surgeon and the nursing team. We will take your vitals and speak with you about any discomfort you may have. It is very important, both for your immediate and longer-term comfort, that you share with us any discomfort or pain that you may have. Everyone has a different threshold for pain, but for most, the discomfort after surgery is not severe. We want you to be comfortable so don’t grin and bear it! Let us know when you need relief.
Incision and Wound Care
While you are in the hospital, you will also be educated on how to properly care for your incisions once you return home as well as given a set of instructions for the next few weeks of recovery. This is also the time to ask the nurse or your surgeon any questions you may have about aftercare and life after surgery. You may want to have a friend or family member sit in on this conversation as your memory will be somewhat clouded by the anesthesia for a few days.
Discharge from the hospital is approved when your surgeon believes that you are ready to care for yourself at home. It is important that you arrange for someone to drive you home, as you may be on narcotic pain medication that impairs your ability to drive, as well as the fact that you should not drive for at least a week after your surgery. We also suggest that you have someone to help you with routine household activities at home for the first several days after your return.
While none of us enjoy a hospital stay, it is an important part of not only the safety of the procedure, but the speediness of your recovery. The more prepared you are before surgery, the smoother your post-op experience will likely be. So, please get in touch with the office and your patient advocate with any questions you may have before you go to the hospital. Further, be sure to reference your patient packet to ensure that you are prepared for life after surgery.