When your procedure’s finished, you’ll be taken to the recovery area.
Nurses will monitor your breathing and vital signs in the recovery area or intensive care unit, if you need closer monitoring. Once your signs are stable, they’ll take you to the ward.
You’ll be given the pain relief prescribed by your anaesthetist. By enabling you to move and breathe without too much discomfort, good pain relief can help reduce your risk of complications.
Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) is often used in the first day or so. This comprises an opioid drug delivered through a cannula into a vein. You can control the amount of pain relief you receive by pressing a button.
Injections of pain relieving medication can be delivered by cannula or into a muscle.
Pills, tablets or liquids can be given at regular times, or when pain starts to bother you.
You’ll probably stay in bed for the first 24 hours, depending on your surgeon’s instructions. After this, the nurses will encourage you to stand up and walk around. A physiotherapist may see you to help with this. This will hopefully speed your recovery and reduce your risks of complications such as blood clots. Your urinary catheter and IV line will be removed once you’re mobile.
You may experience swelling around the incision, with some minor blood loss. The nursing staff will monitor your incision. If you notice an increase in blood loss or pain, report this to the nursing staff.
On the second day after your surgery, the physiotherapist will most likely visit to begin your rehabilitation.
The length of your hospital stay depends on your recovery and can vary from 2 - 7 days. You may need inpatient rehabilitation which may involve being transferred to a specialist rehabilitation hospital. Your surgeon should have told you about this during the informed consent but sometimes recovery is slower than anticipated and your surgeon then recommends rehab.