You will have several tests performed which will allow the doctors to have a complete picture of the state of your health before you undergo the surgery.
The physiotherapist will visit you before and after the operation to discuss the importance of deep breathing and coughing after the surgery.
Your doctor and the anaesthetist will visit you in the ward before your operation. Both doctors will explain the operative procedures.
After the surgery, you will wake up in the recovery ward but you may not remember anything until several hours later in the ward. You will experience pain and probably nausea. This will be worse over the first 2 days and gradually improve over the following days. The nursing staff will give regular injections for the pain and nausea until this settles, as this will enable you to move in and out of bed with greater ease.
An intravenous drip is inserted in your arm to provide the fluid you need, as you will not able to drink any significant amount of fluid during the first few days - usually only sips of water or ice to suck.
You will have a catheter inserted into your bladder to drain away the urine. This may be inserted into the bladder outlet (the urethra) or into the bladder through the abdominal wall. This remains in your bladder for 2 - 10 days depending on your type of surgery. You may have a drain (or two) attached to a drainage bottle. The purpose of this is to drain the raw areas at the operation site and prevent accumulation of blood and fluid.
Your surgical stockings will need to be worn until you are fully mobile.
Exercising your legs and lungs every hour is very important, as this improves the circulation and prevents clots from forming.
You will be assisted out of bed as soon as your condition permits. Again this improves the general circulation and exercises the abdominal muscles.
There may be vaginal bleeding for several days after your operation, necessitating the wearing of the pad.
You may not be able to pass wind for some days and it may be a further few days before you have a bowel motion. The build up of wind (gas) can cause abdominal discomfort during this time. The nursing staff will be able to advise you on ways to help relieve this.
You will have clips or stitches in your wound and these will remain for 7 - 10 days.
You may be surprised when you go home at how weak you will feel and how easily you will tire. So at first you should not have any domestic responsibilities, especially lifting. Gradually you will feel better and be able to do more. You shouldn't drive a car for at least two weeks after you leave the hospital.
If you have a job outside the home, this can usually be resumed in approximately six weeks. If your job involves a lot of physical work or prolonged standing, it may take longer to get back to work.
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