Upon arriving to the hospital, inform the information desk that you are there for surgery and they will direct you to the pre-operative area. Please register with the operating room staff so that preparations can begin. When your name is called, you will be directed to the locker room where you will change into a hospital gown, have your belongings secured, and you will be made comfortable on a hospital bed or cart. When it is close to the time of your operation, you will be interviewed by nurses and anesthesiologists to confirm that all your information is correct. This helps us make sure your procedure goes smoothly. There may be forms for you to sign. An intravenous line will be inserted at this time in order to administer medications necessary for the operation to occur should your procedure require anesthesia. When it is time for your operation, you will be brought to the operating room where monitors will be placed on you to watch your heart, blood pressure, and lung function during the surgery. There will be bright lights,sophisticated equipment, and a lot of activity by the operating room staff. Once you are positioned properly and everyone is ready, the anesthesiologist will administer medications through the intravenous line allowing you to relax and sleep. The next thing you will remember is waking up safely in the recovery room. Once we are sure that the effects of anesthesia have worn off, you will dress back into your regular clothes and proceed home (expect to be home at least 3 to 4 hours after your procedure is completed). If you are staying in the hospital after your surgery, then you will likely be in a hospital room 2 to 3 hours after the surgery is done.The operating room staff and us go to great lengths to make sure your surgery proceeds safely and efficiently. Please note that sometimes the day doesn’t always go as planned due to emergencies or delays for various reasons and your surgery may not start at the exact time it is scheduled. Should this occur, we will do our best to attend to you best as we can.
Prior to your surgery….
• Contact your primary care physician immediately and inquire if you need an appointment with him/her prior to the surgery for medical clearance.
• If you have to cancel or reschedule your surgery, please call your surgeon’s office and/or hospital immediately.
• Perform any laboratory and diagnostic examinations that are ordered as soon as possible so that should any issues arise, they can be addressed.
• Expect a call from the hospital the afternoon/evening before the date of your surgery to confirm the time and further instructions for your surgery.
• Do not eat or drink after midnight the day before the procedure.
• Do not drink alcohol 24 hours prior to the procedure. Do not smoke one week prior to the surgery.
• Take a shower the day before the procedure with soap and water only. No creams, powder, lotion, or deodorants
• Please do not wear any makeup or nail polish
• Get a good night’s rest the night before your surgery.
• Arrive to the hospital 2 hours prior to your procedure to allow for adequate preparation time.
• Someone must accompany you the day of the procedure to take you home (if your procedure is scheduled as outpatient)
• Bring a picture ID and your insurance card.
• Wear comfortable clothing that can be easily removed. Do not bring valuables with you.
• If you use dentures, contact lenses, or prostheses, you will be asked to remove them prior to your procedure.
• If you take insulin, contact your primary care doctor for special instructions. Take your medication with you to the hospital.
• Do not take any blood thinners (Plavix, Coumadin, Aspirin 325 mg) at least one week prior to your surgery date
If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us!
I hope that your time here at the hospital and under our care was a pleasant one. Whether it was a planned procedure or under emergency conditions, we are honored that you allowed us to participate in your care. Now that your hospital care is complete and it’s time for you to go home, it is very important for the success of your surgery that the healing process continues. As much as possible, we would like for you to follow these instructions:
• Take Extra strength Tylenol 2 tablets every 6 hours for 5 days. If you are having pain still, take Motrin one 600 mg tablet every 6 hours for 3 to 6 out of 10 pain or your prescribed medications as written. Please take the medications with a full glass of prune juice as constipation is a common side effect. If your pain is still not controlled, then please call us for further instructions.
• If your wounds are covered with a dressing that looks like “saran wrap”, those are waterproof and you can shower with it in place. Leave those on until you see me in clinic and I will remove it then. If they start to peel (and they often do) before then, you can safely peel it off yourself. If your incisions are covered with a type of glue, that will fall off on their own once healing is complete. The glue is also waterproof.
• Walk and perform your normal daily activities as much as you can tolerate. This will help the blood flow in your body to help healing and prevent blood clots from forming in your legs as well as exercise your lungs to prevent pneumonia from developing. Staying in bed may increase complications at home.
• Avoid strenuous activity and exercise for 4 weeks. It takes approximately this long for your wounds to fully heal. Such activity prior to this time increases your risk for your sutures breaking and/or your wound reopening. You also have stitches on the inside that need healing as well.
• Unless you were specifically told, you can resume all your previous medications and diet before your operation.
• Drink plenty of water (about 6 to 8 glasses a day) to help keep your body hydrated. Eat healthy in order to replace what your body is using up during the healing process. Avoid smoking/smoke exposure.
• You may shower, but do not take baths or swim in pools for 4 weeks. Allow the water to run down over your surgical incision, but do not scrub at it. Keep the steri-strips (paper strips on your wounds if your overlying bandages are off) in place until they look like they’re starting to peel off on the ends. Once this happens, you can peel them off and leave the wound to heal the rest of the way on it’s own.
• If any of your wounds becomes red, painful, or start to have some pus leaking from them, you may have developed a wound infection. This is an occurrence that can happen at home. Keep the wound covered and email/call usfor an earlier appointment.
• Take your antibiotics (if prescribed) as directed. If you start to experience diarrhea or any unusual effects, stop taking the medication and email/call me for further instructions
LAPAROSCOPIC CHOLECYSTECTOMY, HERNIA REPAIR, OR APPENDECTOMY:
If you underwent a robotic/laparoscopic procedure (use of cameras) foryour operation, you may experience a moderate to severe shoulder pain. This is nothing to worry about asit is pain from the breakdown of the gas we used during the procedure. The breakdown product irritates your diaphragm which shares a nerve with your shoulder asit travels to your brain and spinal cord. This pain will resolve over the next 48 to 72 hours. Unfortunately, pain medication won’t help it too much. Warm compresses and increased activity seem to soothe the discomfort a bit.
DRAINAGE OF ABSCESS OR WOUND INFECTION: If you have developed a wound infection while you were in the hospital or underwent a drainage of an abscess, your wound may be packed. You or someone else should change your dressing/packing at least twice a day. It is very important that you pack the wound deep and fully in order to adequately treat the infection and to allow for optimal healing of your wound. The wound will heal from the bottom to the surface in this manner if done properly.
HERNIA REPAIR: It is very important not over exert yourself in the few weeks after your surgery. Avoid lifting or pushing objects heavier than 15 pounds (or more than 3 gallons of milk) for the next 4 weeks. Do not perform any activities that cause your heart to speed up, breath fast, or that causes you to perspire/sweat.
REMOVAL OF HEMORRHOIDS, DRAINAGE OF PERIRECTAL ABSCESS OR ANY ANAL/PERIANAL PROCEDURES: Surgery around the anus is very painful post-operatively. Make sure to take your pain medication as you need it. As the pain subsides in the following days, try to take only what you need so as to prevent your body in becoming dependent on the opioid component of the medications. Sitting in a very warm bath three times a day for 30 minutes will relax your muscles and help subside much of the pain. Drink plenty of water and take your stool softener pills regularly to prevent constipation that can come as a side effect of the pain medications.
YOU WERE DISCHARGED WITH A DRAIN: Sometimes after major surgeries, it is necessary to send home patients with a drain to prevent the build-up of fluid or infection at the operative site. Having a drain prevents the patient from having to come back for multiple procedures to remove collected fluid. If you were discharged with a drain, it is very important to record how much is in the drain every day. Measure every morning on a piece of paper how much fluid is in the drain and what the fluid looks like. Bring the pieceof paper with all the measurements to your office visit with me so I can determine if it is time for your drain to be removed. Regarding care of the drain, just make sure you deep the skin around the drain clean with some clean guaze and tape.
Call us IMMEDIATELY or go to the Emergency Room if…
• You experience difficulty of breathing or chest pain
• Sudden onset of intense and severe pain
• Persistent drainage of fluid or bleeding from your wounds
• High fever and chills
• If you feel like your getting worse instead of better after your operation
Please call (773) 561-7911 for an appointment see us 10 to 14 days after you are released from the hospital. For general questions, feel free to write them down and bring them to your clinic visit or email us for a more immediate answer, and of course you can always call our office and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Please email us within 72 hours once you arrive home to let us know how
you are doing.
During office hours (Monday to Friday 9 am to 5pm), please call (773) 561-7911 for an appointment, have any questions, or are experiencing a problem. After hours, you may speak with the covering surgeon for the night/weekend. Regardless, your concerns and issues will be addressed immediately. You c a n email us at any time for any non-urgent questions. We try to return emails as soon as we can, but because of our schedule, it may have to wait until the end of the business day.
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Thank you again for allowing us to take care of you. We are looking forward to having a great relationship with you and your health in the future!