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After surgery

I HAVE AN INJURY

Access to the affected area to learn more about your injury

After surgery

On completion of the operation, you will be moved from the operating theatre to the Postanaesthesic Recovery Unit (URPA), also within the Surgery Block, and the time you spend there will depend on the surgical procedure and its recovery time (pain, bleeding, etc.). 

The surgeon will call your room to tell those accompanying you that the operation has been finalised and that you have been moved to the URPA.

 

Postoperative instructions

During your stay, you will receive different treatments which may be administered intravenously during the first few days, or orally as you become able to tolerate food.

It is important that you inform nursing staff on the hospitalisation floor of your postoperative pain control so that we can adjust the administration of analgesics.

You may be given an aspiration device for the drainage of blood, which will be removed 24-48 hours after the operation. Similarly, ice will be applied on the area that has been operated on in order to reduce postoperative inflammation.

The necessary dressings will be applied to keep the wound clean and dry and ensure that it is progressing favourably. During the first few days, it is important that the wound be dry, so you must take care in the toilet and shower. If it gets wet, it is crucial to dry it carefully by dabbing it with a clean towel or even using a hand-dryer or hair-dryer.

 

The day after the operation

Depending on the type of surgery you have undergone, it may not be necessary to admit you to hospital (outpatient procedure), or to admit you for at least 24 hours.

When the first dressing is carried out, you will be given thinner, more comfortable bandages, which will allow you to start doing the exercises that our team of physiotherapists at the Advanced Physiotherapy Unit will prescribe and teach you. The inflammatory process following surgery is more intense for the first 24-36 hours and, although it gradually lessens, can persist for a few weeks, depending on the operation you have undergone.

 

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation starts from the moment you can start to do simple exercises which we – doctors as well as physiotherapists – will teach you from the beginning. The physiotherapists will visit you during your stay and will give you clear and simple instructions on how to do the exercises, and precautions and recommendations to make them part of everyday life in a safe and comfortable way. At the same time, they will propose an exercise programme for you to follow at home until the stitches are removed, with a view to accelerating the recovery process.

Remember that you have at your disposition the service of our physiotherapists in the Advanced Physiotherapy Unit, with whom you can carry out your rehabilitation on an outpatient basis once you have left the hospital. Do not hesitate to contact them and ask about the various rehabilitation programmes.

 

On the day of discharge

The day you are allowed to leave hospital you will be visited by one of our surgeons who will perform the last dressing, explain the medicine you are to take and give you the Discharge Report. He will also resolve all the questions you may have before going home.

We will provide the date of the first consultation for check-up of the wound and removal of any staples/stitches.

Before leaving the hospital, do not forget to go to Admissions at the main entrance so that they can officially discharge you.

 

Travel advice

As we have mentioned, it is advisable for you to arrange for someone to take you back home, particularly if you have had a lower-limb operation.

If your journey home is long drive or flight, we advise you to keep the following recommendations in mind to reduce discomfort and the risk of venous (blood clots in the veins of the leg):

  • Ask for plane seats where you will have enough space to stretch the leg which has been operated on. If required, we can give you a report recommending this.
  • Avoid constrictive clothing.
  • Avoid crossing your legs.
  • While seated, change position frequently.
  • Plan stops on the way so as to be able to walk and “stretch your legs”.
  • Do isometric calf exercises and frequently move both ankles as if pressing a pedal. Turn them one way and the other.
  • Drink water and/or juice frequently to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Wear compression stockings.

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