Going Home

When Can You Go Home?

Your doctor will send you home after you meet all of the conditions showing that you will be safe and comfortable, including:

  • Tolerating the recommended diet
  • Passing gas or moving bowels
  • Pain control with pain pills
  • No signs of an active infection

When You Are Discharged

  • Ask the doctor any questions you may have about your recovery.
  • Your Care Management Team will confirm any arrangements for home health or other services after discharge.
  • Your nurse will attempt to make a follow-up appointment with your surgeon.
  • Your nurse will go over your written discharge instructions.
  • Your Healing Partner should be present to review the instructions with you and the nurse.
  • You should have comfortable clothing for your trip home.
  • You will likely have prescriptions that will need to be filled at your pharmacy

Your recovery will continue at home; you will need to do these things at home.

  • Eat healthy foods – You will probably feel better if you have several small meals instead of 3 big meals.
  • Take your pain medicine as prescribed.
  • Spend most of your day out of bed, either walking or in a chair.
  • Keep using your incentive spirometer and doing your deep breathing exercises.
  • Remember that hand washing is still important while you are recovering at home.
  • Do not start smoking again.
  • Keep your incision clean and dry.
  • Your doctor will want to see you after surgery – make that appointment and keep it.
  • Your surgeon may send you home on blood thinning medication.

Call Your Doctor If…

  • You have increasing abdominal pain or bloating.
  • A fever more than 101 degrees.
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting lasting longer than 4 hours
  • Diarrhea lasting longer than 2+ hours
  • Shaking or chills
  • Increasing redness around the incision
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Foul smell/drainage