Abdominal Surgery: What to Expect During Your Hospital Stay

It’s a simple fact that most people just don’t enjoying spending a second longer in the hospital than they have to. After all, hospitals can be rather scary places. If you’re having abdominal surgery to remove a gallbladder, repair a hernia or treat a potential cause of acid reflux, hospitalization might be necessary. Understanding what to expect, however, can make the experience a whole lot less frightening.

Your hospital experience will depend a great deal on the type of surgery you’re having. If, for example, a laparoscopic procedure is indicated, you’ll discover your time in a facility is rather short. For those undergoing more complex procedures, the stay could be longer and more involved.

In either case, however, patients can expect a few things in common during their stays for abdominal surgery no matter its nature:

•    Before surgery – When you check in for surgery, your nursing staff will typically have you change into a gown, take your vitals, weigh you in and perform other routine tasks. You’ll likely be asked to refrain from eating or drinking as the time for the procedure draws near. Medication may be given to help calm your nerves and prepare you for the operation.
•    Surgery – Once you’re wheeled into the operating room, your nursing staff will make sure you are as comfortable as possible. The area for the surgery will be cleaned and you’ll likely be put under for the duration.
•    Post-op – Once the surgery is over, nurses will once again take over, checking your vitals and watching for any complications as you wake up from the procedure. Once you’re back in a room, nurses will continue to monitor your vitals while also asking you to change positions, cough and breathe deeply and perhaps perform a few other exercises to keep your lungs clear and promote healing. The length of time in the hospital,  however, will depend on the surgery you’ve had performed. For laparoscopic procedures, the stay is generally a single night.
•    Before you go home – Your doctor and/or nursing staff will provide you with care instructions and make sure you are ready to be on your own. Follow all instructions closely and don’t be afraid to call your doctor’s office if any concerns arise.

To find out more about what to expect during your hospital stay, speak directly with your doctor. He or she can offer insights on any particulars related to your procedure and help ensure you know what to expect while setting your mind at ease.

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