What To Expect In The Hospital
During your hospital stay, the surgeon, physician assistants, family practice physician, director of the bariatric program, dietician, social worker, wellness staff, and care coordinator will all visit you. Family members and friends are the other part of your support team; please feel free to have them visit you during hospital visiting hours.
Day of Surgery
When you arrive at the hospital admitting desk, you will be directed to the volunteer in the Surgery Waiting Room. A nurse will greet you and take you to the pre-op area to prepare you for your surgery. There you will be interviewed, your chart reviewed, and any questions you have will be answered. The anesthesiologist will meet with you. An I.V. will be started and pre-op medications will be administered, including an antibiotic and medication to prevent nausea and excess stomach acid.
The staff will later take you to the operating room where you will be attached to a heart monitor, blood pressure cuff, and oxygen mask. Medication will send you easily off to sleep. Once asleep, a catheter will be placed and special compression stockings will be applied to your legs for blood-clot prevention.
After surgery, you will be brought to the recovery room where you will be closely monitored by nurses. You will be drowsy because of the anesthesia medications. The nurses will adjust pain medication to make you comfortable. After about an hour, you will be taken to a patient room where a nurse will monitor your vital signs and assure that you are comfortable and stable. You will be awake enough to have a few visitors and you may be walked or gotten up into a chair. You will only be allowed ice chips and sips of water the first night.
Days 1,2,3 in the Hospital
Throughout your hospital stay special precautions will be taken to protect you from blood clots, pneumonia and ulcers. You will be expected to walk frequently and perform deep breathing. Each day you will be visited by one or more members of your bariatric team to teach you how to eat, drink, and move properly in preparation for your first week at home. Your regular medications will be adjusted in response to your expected weight loss and your new way of eating.
GRMC has an established performance protocol for you for each hospital day.
On your first day after surgery, your catheter will be removed, your IV rate will be slowed, and your oxygen tapered off. You will start clear liquids, under the watchful eye of your nurse and dietician, and you will be visited by the physician assistants, your surgeon, the wellness specialist, and other members of your team.
On day two your IV will be stopped and you will start pureed food and oral pain medications (if needed). Your activity level will increase; you will “practice” eating and drinking properly. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled at Surgical Associates.
On day three you will be discharged from the hospital with careful instructions for activity level, your new medication schedule, things to watch for, and final dietary and general instructions.
If your surgical recovery is more complicated than the usual recovery progression, you may stay for a longer period in the hospital.