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The day of admission and surgery

You will be admitted to hospital on the morning of surgery. It is understood that you will have had a thorough shower using the chlorhexidine body wash (provided at your pre assessment visit) prior to your admission. If you have any further questions for  your surgeon or anaesthetist please write them down in this book and bring them with you to hospital. Your operation will be in the morning and you should not eat or drink from midnight.

During the admission process, your surgeon, anaesthetist, admission nurse and theatre nurse will see you. This will mean that different people ask you the same questions. This is a safety issue, and although it can be frustrating, it is important. Use this time to ask any questions that you may have.

Once you have been admitted and changed into your theatre gown and stockings to prevent leg clots, you will wait in the preoperative area until theatre is ready. A final check between the theatre staff and the admission staff takes place before you are taken into the theatre. If you currently use CPAP, your machine will be sent to the recovery room to be used after your surgery is finished.

You will move onto the theatre bed, which is narrow and firm. A blood pressure cuff, ECG and an oxygen monitor will be attached to you, so your anaesthetic team can monitor you closely throughout the procedure. Your anaesthetist will place a drip into a vein and ask you to breathe some oxygen through a plastic facemask. Your anaesthetist will then gently send you off to sleep.

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Recovery Unit

You will wake up in the recovery unit with monitoring attached to you. You will have a drip in your arm, a drain (plastic tube connected to a container) into your abdomen, and a naso-gastric tube (plastic tube which drains the stomach, and is inserted through the nose while you are asleep).

Once you are awake and comfortable you will be transferred to the High Dependency Unit (HDU) located on the first floor.

Further post-operative care:

Your nurse will record your vital signs regularly and give medication to control any pain or nausea.

You will be encouraged to do deep breathing exercises to keep your lungs healthy. You will have compression stockings on and a FlowTron machine (inflatable stockings), to help prevent blood clots. Early mobilisation is also good for clot prevention, so you will be encouraged to move into a chair in the evening after surgery.

You can start to suck on ice chips or take sips of water on your first night. You will also be able to continue to take your usual medication.

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The first day after your surgery

You will usually be ready to move to the ward on the day after your surgery. You will be encouraged to drink slowly, aiming for 1 litre of fluids over the day. After this your IV fluids (drip) can be removed. Do not try to hurry this. You will gradually build from 30ml to 100ml every hour, starting with clear fluids and progressing to milky fluids. Remember to sip very slowly and steadily.

If you are managing to drink, the naso-gastric tube draining you stomach will be removed. You will continue to be given an anti-clotting injection and wear the compression stockings. Medication for pain and nausea will continue, and will be given as tablets.

It is important that you get up and move around as soon as you are able, so you will be encouraged to walk around the ward.

Your surgeon and nurse specialist will see you, as will your dietitian and physiotherapist. If required, a social worker or psychologist is available.


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Day Two

All your medication should now be taken by mouth, perhaps crushed or in liquid form. Your diet will progress to a puree diet  (see nutrition information section). You should aim to slowly drink at least 1 to 1.5 litres of fluids over the day.

Walking will be encouraged, aiming for a minimum of 4 short walks during the day. You will continue to receive an anti-clotting injection, and to wear the compression stockings.

Most patients, if they are progressing well, will be able to go home on this day. Dietary advice on a pureed diet is provided in the nutrition information section. Your drain will be removed if you are going home today.

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Day Three

If you did not leave hospital the previous day, preparations will  take place for this today. You will remain on very small amounts of pureed diet for 3 weeks (about 100ml per serving), and your drain will be removed. Walking as much as possible, and deep breathing exercises will be encouraged.

Initially patients start on liquids before moving to a pureed diet, in order to allow the stomach to heal. Several weeks after Gastric Sleeve surgery, patients progress to eating three small meals a day. Entree sized meals are enough to produce a sensation of fullness. This makes it easier for patients to limit the amount they eat.

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Last updated: October 3, 2017