Medications Nursing staff will give you specific instructions about your medications in written form. The following general rules usually apply:
• Most medications that you took before surgery can and should be resumed on the same Usually diabetic medications and diuretics (fluid pills) should not be restarted. Also, you should not take Aspirin, Motrin, or other pain medicines in this group (medically known as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDs).
• You wil receive a prescription for some pain medicine, usually Lortab liquid.
• If you still have your gallbladder at the time of discharge you will receive a prescription for ursodiol. This is a bile thinning medicine and it is intended to reduce the chance you will form gallstones during the most rapid period of weight loss. You are instructed to take this medicine once per day until six months after your surgery.
• You should begin taking vitamins, Iron, supplemental Calcium, and Vitamin B12 for life. You should begin with chewable supplements, to be gentle for your new stomach pouch. Try to work into taking the recommended supplements on a regular schedule, but if you find that they are too bulky and make it difficult to drink fluids like you need to, then it is OK to leave off the supplements for a day or two and try again once your pouch has
• You should take one pill at a time until your stomach is healed and you can eat regular Diet Your diet handout has a complete description of the diet, but a few points deserve emphasis:
• You should drink zero-calorie fluids almost constantly, except Don’t drink fluids with food, and don’t drink fluids within an hour of eating. You should aim to drink about 64 ounces of fluid each day. Keep an eye on the appearance of your urine – if the color is light and clear then you probably have enough hydration; if the urine is deep yel ow in color then you probably need to drink more fluids.
• If you are hungry, have one of our recommended protein drinks. Your new tube stomach is naturally stiff and will be easily irritated by solid food, so the rule is that anything you take by mouth for the first 2 weeks (at least) must be able to go through a straw.
• It is normal to have no appetite for 2-4 weeks following surgery on your stomach. If you force food (including soup or protein drinks) “to keep your energy up” you may make yourself feel sick, delay your recovery, and impair weight loss. You may not be able to tell if you are hungry – this is normal and it is an opportunity to not eat and to lose more weight. If you go for a whole day or two without eating food, it’s OK (as long as you are taking plenty of liquid and taking the recommended supplements). Activity Walking is highly encouraged. You should walk as far as you can at least once each day, and twice is better. This means you should get out of the house and walk around the neighborhood. Going up and down stairs will not impair healing, so it’s OK as long as you’re steady enough on your feet. Showers are OK. The abdominal binder is intended for your comfort, and it has nothing to do with long term healing. That means if it feels good, wear it. If it doesn’t, take it off. Riding in a car is OK, but don’t drive until your surgeon clears you to do so. Woundcare Your right lower incision is likely to be a bit more sore than the others. This is normal, because we did a bit more surgical work through that incision in comparison to the others. You may also feel a lump under the left lower incision – this is also normal, as long as there is not any redness, heat, or leakage from the incision. Your wounds should heal nicely without special care. It’s OK for the incisions to get wet in the shower, but not to soak (swimming pool, hot tub) until your surgeon says it’s OK. You may put lotions or oils on the incision if you desire – we don’t know of anything along these lines that helps healing but most of it doesn’t hurt either. The wounds don’t need extra covering for healing purposes. On the other hand, if it feels better to put a gauze pad on the incision that’s not a problem. Signs of an infection in the wound are redness, increasing tenderness, or thick white leaking from the wound. You may also feel a fever if you have a wound infection. Call our office if this seems to be happening. Some of our patients develop a red-orange drainage from an incision within the first two weeks at home. In the vast majority of cases this is not serious, but call us to talk it over. Weight Please be advised that you are likely to weigh more when you get home than when you came into the hospital. Don’t panic! It is normal to have mild total-body swel ing after a major surgical procedure like the gastric sleeve. As you probably know, water weighs a lot so this fluid buildup will make you heavier than you were before surgery. The body wil hold onto this fluid for 4-7 days and then naturally shed the fluid through urine. Followup Your surgeon will want to see you around 10-14 days after release from the hospital. We will check on your liquid intake, check your incisions, and begin teaching for the next phase of recovery. Call our office for the following problems:
• Worsening pain, unrelieved pain, or pain that worries you
• Increasing or pus-like drainage from your incision
• Redness, swelling, or increasing tenderness of the incision
• Inability to keep down liquids
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