After your surgery, you’ll be taken to the recovery room.
Nurses will closely monitor your breathing and vital signs. You may have a mask or small tubes in your nostrils giving you extra oxygen and you’ll have a urinary catheter. You’ll also have an IV line for delivering pain relief and fluids. You may have a drain in place to remove fluid and blood from around the operation site.
You’ll most likely be fitted with special compression stockings to wear on both legs. You may also be given calf pumps which inflate intermittently. The stockings and calf pumps are designed to help reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis. You may also be given blood-thinning drugs to further reduce your risk. The nurses may recommend that you take 5 to 10 deep breaths and hold each one, once every hour, to reduce the risk of developing lung problems like pneumonia.
They may not let you eat for at least 4 hours after general anaesthesia, but this can vary.
Pain is different for each person. Your anaesthetist will prescribe pain medication. If you have a sore throat from the tube used during anaesthesia, you can suck throat lozenges.
After a keyhole procedure, you may feel pain in your shoulders. This is because the gas inserted into your abdomen during the procedure can irritate your diaphragm, giving you referred pain to your shoulder. Moving and walking helps to decrease the gas and shoulder pain.
Physio is essential to your recovery. During your hospital stay, a physiotherapist will visit and show you some exercises to strengthen your muscles. After you go home, it’s important to continue these exercises.
If you’re going home with a urinary catheter in place, a nurse will come and explain how to manage the catheter, how long it needs to be in place and what to do if you have problems.