Recognized as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery
Published: May 30, 2007
Updated: Feb. 2, 2011
After you are fully awake (two to four hours), you will be transferred to a regular hospital room on our bariatric surgery floor. Most of the hospital rooms are private -- you will most likely not have a roommate.
Under certain circumstances, a family member may sleep in the room with you -- arrangements must be made with the charge nurse on the unit.
After arriving to your hospital room, you will be assisted out of bed the same evening to sit in a chair. This early activity will help prevent postoperative complications of pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in your legs).
When in bed you will wear compression booties that act to pump blood through your legs even though you are not walking. There will be small devices placed on your chest and finger to monitor your electrocardiogram and breathing.
You will have a catheter in your bladder so you won’t have to urinate, and there may be a small drain tube coming out of your abdomen.
Finally, you will have an IV in place through which you will receive pain medication on demand (called a patient controlled analgesia or PCA). There is a small button you push whenever you have pain and pain medicine is automatically infused without having to call a nurse.
The tube in your bladder will be removed. Your intravenous line will be left in place. You will be expected to walk in the hallway with help and sit in a chair during the day. It is very important for you to get out of bed to help prevent postoperative pneumonia or blood clots in your legs. Also this activity reduces the severity and duration of pain.
Your diet will remain liquids only but increase to two ounces of full liquids, like Boost Plus or Instant Breakfast, every hour while awake; plus one ounce of low- or no-calorie, non-carbonated, non-caffeinated beverage every 15 minutes as desired.
You will increase your activity -- walking and sitting up in a chair will be the main goals for the day.
You will begin oral pain medications and be started on some of your home medications. If you have not had a bowel movement, you may be given a laxative or a suppository. If your pain is under control and you are drinking the liquids well, IV fluids will be stopped and the IV removed. If you have a small drainage tube in your right side, it will be removed.
If all is well, you will be discharged on this day, although a few patients are not ready to go home until the morning of day two. You should plan to have someone drive you home and to leave the hospital no later than 5:00 p.m.
When you go home you should be independent and need no special help. To be safe, you should not drive for at least two weeks and you should not lift anything heavy (so heavy that you have to hold your breath or grunt). You will be able to go up and down stairs and you should plan to walk a lot.