Recovering in hospital

Day of operation (return to the ward)

On your arrival to the ward you will be transferred to your bed. Once again observations will be recorded of your pulse temperature and blood pressure as well as assessing your requirement for pain relief and checking of your operation site/s as required.

When you return you will have a catheter and may occasionally have a drain (a plastic tube inserted into your tummy near the operating site) this drain is to ensure that there is no abnormal bleeding from the operation site and will be removed after 4 hours unless the surgeon has suggested otherwise.

At this point you will be encouraged to drink fluids, initially this will be water, but later we would expect you to have hot drinks and or high protein calorie drinks that are stocked on the ward.

During this return we would hope/ expect you to be able to be sat out of bed for some time as well as start back to normal eating. The hospital will obviously provide your food plus snacks, if you wish your partner / carer to bring in special food for you we would ask you first to check with the nursing staff.

If your surgery was early in the day a member of the surgical team will usually see you to discuss your operation with you and answer any questions.

The nursing staff will organise an injection (Clexane) to reduce the risks of clots, this will be continued after your discharge usually until 7 days (but in some cases for up 6 weeks)

1st  Post-operative Day

Hopefully you will have had a comfortable pain free night and had a chance to sleep. After waking the nursing staff will arrange to remove the catheter from your bladder (this is a simple procedure and will not cause any significant discomfort). If an intravenous drip is still used this will be taken down unless instructed by the surgeons.

During this day you will be seen by your surgeon unless you have already been seen the previous day. They will ensure that you are fully informed of the procedure and will ensure that your recovery will proceed as expected. They will answer any questions you have and will advise you of when it is likely you will be able to go home.

The pain control team will see you today and assess your needs for pain relief and nausea control and may alter your medications as required both for the remainder of your hospital stay and for your medication to go home with. 

You may also see a physiotherapist if required but should start the exercises already discussed at the pre op school

During the course of the day you will be given a further injection of the blood thinner Clexane and the nursing staff may show you how to self-administer this after your discharge. If you are unable to do this then we would ask if you have a family member or friend that we could teach to do this for you.

2nd Post-Operative Day

Essentially you should aim to do the same as yesterday but more! As well as preparing mentally for home. It is likely that you may feel well enough for discharge today even if you had your hysterectomy through your tummy. During this day we would expect you to mobilise more regularly and would not expect you to be back in bed unless you are feeling very unwell. We would expect that you would be able to shower or bathe yourself, and that you should now be eating and drinking normally as well as consuming additional energy drinks.

You are unlikely to have opened your bowels by this time, however we do not expect you to have opened your bowels by the time of discharge and we would not routinely need to administer suppositories or give medicine to help this.

The nursing staff will have organised your medicines for you to take home as required, this may include the blood thinning injection Clexane which the nurses will again show you how to administer

3rd Post-Operative Day

Some patients, especially those older patients, those with known medical conditions or those that have had more major surgery (especially through a long up and down tummy incision) may only just be starting to feel like going home.

Again we would encourage you to mobilise as much as possible as well as continue to eat and drink normally and consume the energy drinks. We will continue with the blood thinning injections and encourage you to administer these yourself.

Discharge- Nearly all patients  should expect to be discharged by the third day after the operation  even if your Hysterectomy was done through your tummy.

Remember you are fit for discharge when you can meet the following three criteria

- Mobilising with simple analgesia

- Eating & drinking

- Independent with self-hygiene (washing & toilet)

If you can tick these boxes tell the nursing staff that you feel you are ready for discharge.

If you do not meet these criteria do not worry, your doctors will have assessed you to make sure there is no problems with your recovery and the medical and nursing team will be helping you to achieve a speedy recovery.

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