Surgical Instructions

HomeSurgical Instructions

 The Morning of Surgery

  • You will arrive at the hospital at the time and place specified to you prior to the admission. You will be asked to replace your clothing with a patient gown.
  • If you took any medication the morning prior to reporting to the hospital, let the nurse know.
  • You will take medications as ordered by your physician.
  • You will be taken to the operating theatre pre anaesthetic area. Upon arrival, you will meet the surgical team and the anaesthetist will speak to you. You will be given medication that will make you very drowsy prior to being taken to the Operating Room suite.

After Surgery

  • You will be taken to the Recovery Room following surgery where your respiratory status and vital signs will be monitored. This is to ensure that you are stable before sending you to the surgical ward. If we detect any concerns regarding your vital signs or respiratory status, you may be brought to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit to be monitored post operatively. This does take place on occasion and you should be aware of the possibility.
  • You may experience pressure in your abdomen during your stay in the recovery room. This is normal, however you should notify your nurse of any discomfort.
  • When you are stable and doing well, you will be transferred to the surgical ward.

Post op on Surgical Ward

  • The nurse will bring you a 30 ml cup with ice chips. You will be allowed to have a 30ml cup of ice every two (2) hours for that day. Most patients will have a PCA (Pain Controlled Analgesia) pump that provides pain medication. The nurse will demonstrate how to use the pump. Most patients experience very little pain after surgery.
  • Patients that are on CPAP or Bi-PAP prior to surgery may be given pain medication as needed by the nurse.
  • When you are in bed you will have wraps around both of your lower legs connected to a pump that inflates and deflates. They are called SCD or sequential compression device. The SCDs help prevent blood clots and improve the circulation in your lower extremities. Be sure these are on your legs while you are in bed. They may be removed when you get up and walk.
  • You may be given an incentive spirometer which will help you take deep breaths and helps prevent pneumonia.
  • Once you awake from the anaesthesia and your vital signs and urine output are good, the staff will get you out of bed and start walking you in the halls. Please try to start walking as soon as possible. Ask the nurse to assist you the first time you try to get out of bed.
  • The following morning, gastric bypass patients will be taken down to the Radiology (x-ray) Department for a leak test or gastrograffin swallow study. The technician will give you a small amount of fluid to drink. As you drink this fluid, the radiologist will take pictures as it flows down into the new pouch. If you do not have a leak, you will return to the floor and the nurse will give you 30ml of fluid every 30 minutes.
  • If you tolerate the liquids without experiencing any nausea or vomiting your IV will be removed.
  • When your surgeon is satisfied with your overall progress, you will be discharged home.

Discharge Instructions

  • BATHING: You may shower 48 hours after surgery. No tub baths, swimming or hot tub use for 4 weeks following surgery.
  • DRESSINGS: Keep the dressing dry for 48 hours after surgery. After 48 hours you may remove the top dressing and leave the steri-strips (thin white pieces of tape). These may get wet and will eventually fall off. The ones remaining will be removed in 2 weeks on the first post-op visit.
  • ACTIVITY: You may resume usual self-care. You may drive when you feel you are able. No lifting, pushing, pulling or tugging over 10 kilograms for 4 weeks. Walking every day and deep breathing exercises as taught by your physiotherapist at least 4 times a day (for 2 weeks) is very important.


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