While in the Hospital
Checking in for surgery
Make sure you arrive at the time given to you. Shortly after checking in, you will be transported to the anesthesia induction room. Our team will evaluate you and ensure you are prepared for surgery. This is where they will insert an intravenous catheter (IV) into one of the veins in your arm. This will be used to give you the anesthesia for surgery as well as pain medication and other medications after surgery.
If you are having an open procedure the anesthesia team may insert an epidural catheter, which will be used to help with your anesthetic during surgery and, more importantly, control incisional pain. This epidural catheter will be left in for several days after surgery, since it is the best means to provide continuous pain relief.
Family Waiting Area and Cafeteria
Your family and friends will be directed to the waiting area while you are in the operating room and during the initial phase of your recovery. Your surgeon will talk to your family after your operation is over.
The Operating Room
Once under anesthesia, a breathing tube will be inserted to assist breathing while asleep. A urinary catheter will be placed into the bladder to allow the bladder to empty and to monitor urine output during the procedure. The breathing tube will be removed at the end of anesthesia and the urinary catheter in a few days.
There may be a soft tube placed through your nose into your stomach. We call it an NG tube or nasogastric tube. This tube helps to prevent vomiting and allows healing of the stomach.
Preventing blood clots
Anti-embolism stockings and air powered stockings are fitted to your legs to provide gentle massage for blood circulation. They will remain in place until you are up and ambulating regularly.
What to expect after surgery
Following surgery, patients move to a holding area called the recovery room for one to two hours until the effects of anesthesia have worn off and vital signs are stable. Your surgeon will speak to your family members in the surgery waiting area after the procedure. Family members can check in and out at a hospitality desk for updates. Family members may visit in regular hospital rooms.
Some pain after surgery should be expected. Pain is usually strongest in the first two days and gradually subsides. Complete recovery from pain will take a number of weeks. Medications are provided to decrease pain. Most patients will have a Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) machine that allows controlled administration of pain medications through an intravenous infusion (IV) under supervision.
Nutrition and fluid intake
One of our Registered Dietician’s will visit you while you are in the hospital. They will review your preoperative nutrition education and your diet for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
Most patients stay in the hospital one to three days after a laparoscopic procedure and approximately three to four days after an open procedure. You will be discharged when you are able to:
- Take enough liquids and nutrients by mouth to prevent dehydration
- Tolerate clear liquids and advancing to full liquids.
- Demonstrate and understanding of your postoperative diet progression.
- Have no fever.
- Have adequate pain control with oral pain medication.
- Ability to walk
When you leave the hospital you should already have appointments for your follow up appointments with your surgeon’s office and with the dietician. Please call our Bariatric Surgery team at (206) 341-1997 if you do not have these appointments.