- After your surgery is over you will be moved to the recovery room (PACU) and will remain there for 1-2 hours. Your vital signs will be closely monitored and your pain and nausea will be assessed and medicated accordingly. Your family will be notified that the surgery is over and they will have an opportunity to speak with Dr. Felts. When you are recovered and awake, you will be transferred to your room on the Medical Surgical Floor.
- You will be expected to get up and begin walking the first hour after you arrive on the Medical Surgical floor. Walking is one of the most important parts of your recovery. Walking promotes blood circulation, which increases oxygen supply and aides the healing process, decreases your chances of getting blood clots and helps to relieve the pressure and bloating often experienced after surgery. Coughing and deep breathing along with the use of your incentive spirometer is also going to be a vital part of your recovery process. Your Nurse will teach you these techniques after your surgery.
This is the room where your family and friends can wait until you are ready for visitors. If your family leaves the hospital, please ask them to leave a phone number with the nursing staff as to where they can be reached.
Contact Your Surgeon If:
- You cannot make it to your surgery on time
- You have a fever
- You have a question about your surgery
After you go home, there are things you need to be aware of. These are general guidelines to help you during your recovery process. If you have any questions or concerns or you feel like something is “not right” please do not hesitate to call Dr. Felts at 575-556-1849 or the Bariatric Director at 575-521-5590 or by cell 575-636-9218.
Signs and Symptoms to Call Your Surgeon
- A FEVER OVER 101
- PERSISTENT VOMITING OR SPITTING UP
- VOMITING BLOOD
- PASSING BLOOD IN THE STOOL
- UNABLE TO TAKE FLUIDS OR KEEP FLUIDS DOWN
- INCREASED ABDOMINAL PAIN
- HEART RACING WITH SHORTNESS OF BREATH
- SUDDEN ONSET OF LEFT SHOULDER PAIN
- LEG PAIN OR UNUSUAL SWELLING IN THE LOWER LEGS
We encourage you to contact Dr. Felts prior to reporting to the Emergency Room if possible.
Do not take a bath, get in a hot tub or swimming pool for 1 week after your surgery. You may take a shower any time after surgery. Your surgeon used absorbable sutures and biodegradable skin adhesive (skin glue) on your incision sites. There are no dressings or sutures to remove. If you have unusual redness or drainage at the site please call Dr. Felts‘ office at 575-556-1849.
A prescription was submitted to your pharmacy by Dr. Felts for Protonix (pantaprozole) 40mg to take by mouth each day to reduce gastric acid and reflux, (you should take this medication until Dr. Felts has told you to stop the medication). You can usually discontinue this medication after 6 months. He also submitted a prescription to your pharmacy for Gabapenten 250mg/5cc elixir to take twice a day for discomfort. Make sure you have some liquid Adult Tylenol (acetaminophen 160mg/5cc) to take as needed for discomfort. You may take 15cc of acetaminophen elixir every 4-6 hours as need.
DO NOT LIFT ANYTHING OVER 10 POUNDS FOR 10 DAYS. NO STRENUOUS EXERCISE OR LIFTING ANYTHING OVER 25 POUNDS FOR 4 WEEKS AFTER YOUR SURGERY. Go home and rest the day you are released from the hospital but we do want you up and walking several times an hour. This not only helps your lungs but also helps get rid of any gas build up, speeds recovery and helps your circulation. Begin slowly with just getting around the first few days to working up to walking fast for at least 30 minutes 3 days per week. Keep your exercise calendar current writing down the number of minutes you walk each day. Remember to bring the calendar and your Education book to each post-op visit. Use your incentive spirometer at least 3 times every hour while you are awake for the first week after surgery to help prevent pneumonia.
Do NOT drive a motor vehicle for at least 7 days after your surgery or while taking any narcotics. Make sure you can turn, stop and operate your vehicle safely and comfortably before driving.
On the day of your surgery you will not be allowed to eat or drink anything. You may be given small amounts of ice chips. The morning after your surgery you may be taken to the radiology department where you will have an upper GI series. You will be given a small drink (gastrografin) to swallow while they take an x-ray of the fluid going down into your stomach. This is performed to evaluate your new stomach and to check for any leaks. Once you have been cleared by the radiologist Dr. Felts you will begin your STAGE 1 DIET.
Stage 1 Diet
While in the hospital Nutritional Services will bring you some clear protein, (which you will need to water down), they will bring water, broth and Jello. Everything will be room temperature as you cannot tolerate the extremes of hot and cold at this time. You will use your schedule sheet and small measuring cups to take very small sips of 2 ounces of protein every hour and small sips of one to two ounces of clear liquids every 15 minutes. (See the diet section of your Education Book to make sure you know what stage of the diet you are on and how to eat properly.)
Post-Operative Follow-Up with Dr. Felts
You should have your two week appointment and all other appointments for the first year set up with Dr. Felts at your pre-op visit. AT EACH APPOINTMENT YOU WILL NEED TO BRING YOUR EDUCATION BOOK AND MAKE YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT FOR YOUR FOLLOW-UP. Your follow-up appointments are essential to your success and you will have them made for 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year and every year thereafter. If for some reason you cannot make an appointment please call at least 24 hours in advance and let us know so we may reschedule your appointment. Again we want to reinforce YOU MUST make all follow-up appointments which are essential to the success of your procedure.
Common Problems After Surgery
GAS: This is from the gas used during surgery to inflate the inside of your abdomen as well as gas build up inside of your stomach and intestine. Take Gas-X or Di-Gel for relief. Pain in the shoulder is not uncommon with gas as well. The best thing you can do for this is to get up and walk. If lying down, sit up in the bed which will help the gas pain as well.
CONSTIPATION: You have decreased your food amount so this is common. Take a fiber supplement such as Bene-Fiber, Metamucil Clear and drink plenty of fluids. You may also use Milk of Magnesia as directed on the bottle or add in some Miralax as directed on the bottle. If this persists without relief call the office.
DEHYDRATION: Your body just went through surgery and needs to be replenished of any lost fluids. Each day you will need at least one half your body weight in fluid ounces. We encourage a minimum of 80 ounces of water per day, preferably closer to 100 ounces daily. You should void, clear to pale yellow urine, 6 times a day. Add chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon cubes (full salt not low salt) to regulate your electrolytes. One cup per day is a reasonable goal.