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After Surgery: Recovery and Beyond

You will be in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (recovery room) for at least one hour. Visitors are generally not allowed in this area. Pain medication will be available, as needed. You will be asked frequently to take deep breaths. This is necessary to expand the lungs to prevent pneumonia.

What to Expect During Recovery

If your surgery requires that you stay in the hospital for a few days, you might want to consider these common situations and steps in the recovery process:

  • Once you are in your room, family or friends may come in for a visit with you, but only two at a time. Please ask family and friends to limit phone calls.
  • You may sleep for several hours.
  • You will be asked to continue to breathe deeply.
  • Nurses will frequently check your blood pressure and vital signs.
  • Your physician has ordered pain medication, so don't wait for pain to become severe before letting the nurse know you need more medication.
  • Most patients will be expected to get out of bed and walk the night of surgery. Walking stimulates circulation and promotes normal body functions. Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor or nurse.

What's on the Menu?

You may receive intravenous fluids after surgery. Your diet will then be gradually increased from liquids to your normal eating pattern. Your digestive system will be sluggish after surgery and your nurse or doctor will watch for signs, such as passing gas, that will indicate that your digestive tract is returning to normal. Your physician will tell you when you may drink fluids, eat solid food and get out of bed, all of which are important to your continued recovery. Frequent turning in bed and walking will help your digestive system regain its normal function.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Please remember that John C. Lincoln Health Network campuses are smoke-free and tobacco-free. Use of smoking tobacco and all other tobacco products is prohibited on any of the Network's properties — inside and outside, including parking areas.

You will be provided, upon physician order, nicotine substitutes to help with the withdrawal of nicotine. Nicotine replacement products are also available within our gift shops for visitors, if needed. Learn more about our tobacco-free policy.

Every effort is being made to exceed your health care expectations. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your stay with us better. By working together, we can more effectively meet your needs.