After the procedure, a member of
the surgical team will take you to the recovery room or the intensive care unit (ICU)
to be closely watched. You will be connected to monitors that will display your vital
signs (heart activity, blood pressure, breathing rate, and your oxygen level).
You may have a tube in your
throat to help you breathe until you can breathe on your own. As you wake up from
anesthesia and start to breathe on your own, a healthcare provider will adjust the
breathing machine (ventilator). This will allow you to take over more of the
breathing. When you are awake enough to breathe fully on your own and you are able
cough, the healthcare provider will remove the breathing tube.
After the breathing tube is out,
your nurse will help you cough and take deep breaths every 2 hours. This may be
uncomfortable due to soreness. But it is very important that you do this. It is to
keep mucus from collecting in your lungs. This can lead to pneumonia. Your nurse will
show you how to hug a pillow tightly against your chest while coughing to help ease
Your nurse may give you pain
medicine as needed. You may be on IV medicines. These are to help your blood pressure
and your heart, and to control any problems with bleeding. As you recover, your
doctor will slowly decrease then stop these medicines.
Once your provider removes the
breathing tube, you may be able to drink liquids. Your diet will go back to more
solid foods as you are able to handle them.
If you have a drainage tube in
your stomach, you will not be able to drink or eat until the tube is removed. Your
provider will remove the tube when your intestines work again. This is usually a few
days after the procedure.
When your healthcare provider
decides that you are ready, you will be moved from the ICU to a postsurgical nursing
unit. Your recovery will continue here. Your activity will be gradually increased.
You will get out of bed and walk around for longer periods.
Your healthcare team will talk
with you about your discharge from the hospital. You may have prescriptions for new
medicines and directions for a follow-up visit with your healthcare provider.