WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR COLORECTAL SURGERY
You may be somewhat sedated after the surgery. In the evening you may be helped into a chair..
You will have a couple of IV’s through which you will be receiving fluids and medicines.
You may feel nausea and some pain. But let your nurse know so that we can make you comfortable.
You will have a catheter draining urine from your bladder. This is placed purely for your comfort. You will be wearing leg stockings to prevent clots.
Most patients will have an epidural catheter in the back for pain control. Some patients will have an IV Morphine drip that they can control. If you have this IV drip (Patient Controlled Anesthesia) you can give yourself a shot of pain medicine whenever you need it.
If your pain is not controlled inform your nurse. Some degree of pain is expected after surgery but you must not suffer with pain. A reasonable level of pain is 1-2 on a painscale of 1-10. Excessive pain after surgery may cause many complications and must be avoided.
When in bed perform deep breathing exercises and move your limbs and joints to keep yourself occupied.
The physical therapist will see you today. You will be assisted by our staff to ambulate. They will sit you in a chair and walk you around the unit. The idea is to keep you as active as possible.
When in bed keep moving your limbs and perform Incentive Spirometry (breathing exercises).
You may have some sips of water as long as it does not make you nauseous. You may also have some chewing gum.
Your dressing will be removed and the incision may be left exposed.
Once again you will be encouraged to walk and sit in a chair. The less time you spend in the bed, the better. When in bed, elevate the head end of the bed at 45 degrees and exercise your limbs as much as possible. You will be asked to be more active from now on.
You will be given liquid diet if you do not have nausea or vomiting. Only consume small amounts.
Your urine catheter may be removed during the night.
If you have a bag or colostomy, you and your family will be educated on how to take care of it.
The Discharge planner will see you today and evaluate your home situation to see if you need any kind of assistance at home. They will also determine if you need a front wheel walker or a bedside commode at home.
If you have an epidural catheter, it will be removed today. From now on the pain will be controlled with intravenous medications. You must call the nurse if you have pain.
Many people experience difficulty with sleeping in the hospital because of unfamiliar environment. You may ask for a sleeping pill if you are having problems with sleeping.
You wont have much of an appetite. You will be given Impact, Ensure or Glucerna.
If you have a drain (a small plastic tube that is placed in the belly during surgery), it will be removed today.
You will be required to walk at least 3 times a day from now on.
You will be started on a diet. Only consume small portions. The dietician will see you today and explain a low-fat and low-fiber diet to you. You need to take this restricted diet for the next 2 weeks only. After this period there will be no dietary restrictions.
- The Physical therapist and the Discharge planner will continue to see you every day. If you have any questions or concerns bring it to their attention.
- The nurse will give you the “Discharge Instruction Sheet”. This will explain what to expect after discharge.
- You may also get the discharge prescriptions today. Have a relative go to the pharmacy and pick up your prescription today so that it is available when you go home.
If all goes well you can expect discharge today. We usually discharge patients between 12-5 pm.
You will be advised to gradually increase activity when you go home. Continue breathing exercises when you get home. Also keep wearing your stockings for the next 2 weeks when you go home.
YWhen you go home you may feel tired, weak and under the weather. You may have some pain, nausea, constipation, bloating or diarrhea. This is part and parcel of recovery and it takes almost 2 weeks before you feel better. Full recovery takes as long as 4-6 weeks. Call us if you have severe pain, fever more than 101 or severe diarrhea or constipation.
Day of Surgery, (Post-op Day #0)
Post-op Day #1
Post-op Day #2
Post-op, Day #3
Post-op Day #4
Post-op Day #5
The above is a general description of the expected course of your stay in hospital. However every patient is different and we may have to tailor the postoperative care according to your individual needs. If there are any postoperative problems you may require a much longer hospital stay.