You will be taken to the Recovery Area – called Post-Anesthesia Acute Care Unit (PACU):
- Your respiration and vital signs will be monitored.
- If any problems occur, you may be taken to a hospital if your procedure was done in an outpatient facility.
- At the hospital you may be put into intensive care. This can happen. So don’t overreact if it does. It’s only precautionary.
Criteria for being discharged from the hospital or the outpatient facility after your operation:
- No nausea for one hour. If you can tolerate water and have some nausea they may let you go home.
- Able to drink one tablespoon of liquids every five minutes.
- Walking without dizziness.
- Stable vital signs – especially a normal heart rate.
Drinking after Gastric Sleeve surgery – VERY IMPORTANT
You will be told how much your new stomach holds. Typically it holds about half a cup. But immediately after surgery the stomach will swell a bit and you may only be able to tolerate sips at a time.
- It is important to know this precisely for the first three weeks and never put more fluid in than that amount and no more often than every 5-10 minutes.
- For the first few days your stomach will swell and you will only be able to drink about one tablespoon of water, coffee, tea, or chicken broth
- The staple line has three layers of staples, but if you drink carbonated beverages or drink too much it CAN rupture.
- You can take your medication – pills. Take ONE pill at a time, wait a minute or two before taking another pill. Ask your pharmacy if some pills may be cut or crushed for comfort – although this is often not needed.
When you get home after your procedure
Keep your dressing dry
- Most of the time we use glue on the wound
- Don’t pick off the glue
- If we used sutures and put a dressing on the wound then wait a day before removing it.
- The glue will come off by itself after a couple of weeks – don’t pick at it.
- Starting 24 hours after your procedure it is ok to shower (for 3 week thereafter).
- There will be some glue on the wounds – again leave the wounds alone.
- But you can cautiously run a very delicate shower stream over the area and very, very gently with your fingertips wash around the wounds with soap. Let the soap and water run over the wound.
- You can also let soapy water run over the incisions to keep the skin clean.
- Pat dry (very, very lightly and gently).
For 48 hours after surgery:
Do not immerse your incisions
- 3 weeks – showers only.
- No baths, hot tubs or swimming.
Medical problems after surgery
Often what is thought of as gas is a result of us stretching your abdominal muscles, including your diaphragm after surgery. We do let the gas out of the abdomen. The best way to treat this feeling is to walk, and walk some more. Sometimes there is a bit of gas buildup in the lower stomach. To fix this you can
- Take Gas-X up to 7 times daily (if needed).
- Best is to walk – and walk, and walk some more.
- Most of the time you will have liquid stools. Since you have liquid only for three weeks you may not have many bowel movements
- Liquids in and liquids out.
- Take liquid Acetaminophen (Tylenol Rapid Blast) as directed on the package.
- You can also take Tylenol – but be careful not to take too much.
When to call a doctor – you can always go to the ER for these:
- Intense abdominal pain – that persists despite taking Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing – go to the ER
- Fast heart rate – learn to take your pulse. If over 110 go to the ER
- Bleeding – from your incision, in vomit, in stool
- Nausea or vomiting – that is not relieved by medications or that prevents you from drinking for an entire day.
- Any pain or swelling – particularly in your calves or legs.
- Signs of infection:
- Temperature above 101.5 degrees.
- Redness and swelling at incisions. You can take a photo of this if you are not certain and email it to the doctor
- Pus in incisions, foul smelling drainage. Email your doctor or call or go to the ER
- Incisions reopen. Go to the ER.
- Office hours change – if you are concerned you can come in during office hours and hte doctor will see you. Please call the office to make certain the doctor is there. In general the doctor is in all day Monday, Wednesday until 3 pm, and Friday until 1 pm.