Your Surgery Day
- We recommend that you shower in the morning on the day of surgery, but do not use any moisturizers, creams, lotions, or make-up.
- Remove your jewelry and do not wear nail polish.
- You may wear dentures, but you will need to remove them just prior to surgery.
- Please bring your eye glasses and a case if possible.
- DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT.
- ONLY take those medications your doctor has instructed you to take on the morning of your surgery.
At the Hospital
You should arrive at the hospital at the designated time (usually 2-3 hours prior to the scheduled time of your operation).
- A nurse will greet you and you will be asked to change your clothing and put on a hospital gown and slippers.
- If you wear dentures, corrective lenses, and/or hearing aids, you will be asked to remove them for safety reasons.
- Please remove ALL piercings.
- A nurse will review your paperwork and pre-op teaching with you.
- Next, you will go to the pre-op holding area, where you will meet your anesthesiologist and members of the surgical team.
- Your blood pressure, pulse, respiration, oxygen saturation, temperature, height and weight will be measured.
- An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in your hand or forearm. This allows fluids and/or medications into your blood stream.
- You may be given some medicine to help you relax.
- Your surgical stockings and sequential compression device’s (SCD’s) will be put on your legs.
- You may have family members with you in the pre-op holding area until the team is ready to take you to surgery.
The Operating Room
Going to the Operating Room (OR) is not a normal experience for the most of us. Your surgical team recognizes the natural anxiety with which most patients approach this step in the process of achieving their goals. We believe that a description of the surgery experience will help you prepare for it.
Specialists using the most modern equipment and techniques will attend to you. The team includes at least a board certified anesthesiologist, a trained surgical assistant and nurses that will assist your surgeon.
Once you enter the OR, the staff will do everything they can to make you feel secure. You will be transported on a gurney (a bed or stretcher on wheels). There, the nurses who will be assisting your surgeon will review your chart. Medicines that will make you drowsy will flow through the IV tubing into a vein in your forearm. At the same time, to ensure your safety, the anesthesiologist will connect you to monitoring devices.
After you are asleep, a small plastic nasogastric (NG) tube is placed through your nose into your stomach. The surgical procedure will last about an hour, but the length of the operation is dependent upon the number of extra procedures necessary, if any, and the difficulty of finding working space within the abdomen. Seldom is the length of operating time related to the patient’s immediate condition in the operating room, and may go several hours without undue side-effects or risks. Your surgical team will take excellent care of you! When your surgery has been completed and your dressings are in place, you will be moved to the Recovery Room.
- Note: During your surgery, family members may wait in the waiting area until your surgeon comes and speaks with them. After the surgeon has spoken with your family, it will be at least another hour before you are brought to your room. During this time you are in the Recovery Room.
The Recovery Room
You will be closely monitored during this period. Recovery Room nurses will remain with you at all times. Most patients have very little memory about their stay in the Recovery Room. It is common for patients to be drowsy and sometimes confused when they first wake up.
- A nurse will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, respirations and temperature frequently.
- You may receive oxygen through your nose with a tube or mask.
- The nurse and anesthesiologist will manage your pain.
- You will be asked to rate your pain on a 0-10 scale to determine the amount of pain medicine you need. Your comfort is extremely important to us.
- Some patients may come out of the OR with a central intravenous line (“central line”) placed at their neck or collar bone for better IV access.
- Most patients will come out of the OR without the NG tube.
- When your initial recovery is completed and all your vital signs are stable, you will be transported to your room.
Your Hospital Stay
- Usually after LAP-BAND surgery patients go home the same day or the next morning. When you return to your room after surgery, you will be allowed to rest for a couple of hours, while you continue to be closely monitored by your nurses.
Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy
- The hospital stay for Gastric Bypass averages two to five days, longer for those with complications. Patients undergoing the laparoscopic method usually have a shorter hospital stay. The first few days after the operation are a critical time for your stomach and intestines to heal. When you return to your room after surgery, you will be allowed to rest for a couple of hours, while you continue to be closely monitored by your nurses.
- Along with monitoring of your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, breathing), your nurses will encourage and assist you in performing deep breathing, coughing, leg movement exercises and getting out of bed after surgery.
- Note: These activities prevent complications. Be certain to report any symptoms of nausea, anxiety, muscle spasms, increased pain or shortness of breath to your nurse. At times, it is normal to experience fatigue, nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness, surgical pain, weakness and lightheadedness, loss of appetite, gas pain, flatus, loose stools and emotional ups and downs in the early days and weeks after surgery. You may discuss specific medical concerns with your surgeon.
- Approximately three to four hours after your surgery, with the help of your nurse, you should sit up and dangle your feet, stand at your bedside and then walk. Yes, it will hurt, but each time you get out of bed it will get easier. Each day you will notice your strength returning, with less and less pain. You will be asked to get out of bed and walk at least four times a day and as many times as you can immediately on the first day. Your nurse will also encourage you to do your leg and breathing exercises hourly.
Note: Changing positions in bed, walking and prescribed exercise promotes circulation. Good blood flow discourages the formation of blood clots and enhances healing. The nurses will remind you to do so. You may not feel well enough to go for a walk, yet it is very important that you try your best and do as much as possible. Getting up, walking and doing your post-operative exercises will speed up your recovery and minimize complications.