You will be transferred to theatre on your bed or a trolley, after the operation you will be transferred to a recovery area prior to returning to the ward.
You may be given an enema to clear the contents of your bowel before your operation.
Your body needs plenty of nutrients to recover from an operation. Although you will not be allowed solid food from six hours before your operation, you will be given carbohydrate rich drinks to have the day before your operation and the morning of surgery. This is to provide you with the extra calories to make up for not eating.
You will be given surgical stockings to wear. These reduce the risk of a blood clot forming in your leg veins. When you are in theatre you will also be given an injection of Tinzaparin. This is a medicine which thins the blood and helps to prevent clots.
Once you are awake from your anaesthetic, you will go back to the surgical ward. You may have a small tube (catheter) in your back for the next few days to provide you with continuous pain relieving medicine (epidural). You will have a tube (catheter) in your bladder. This is so that we can monitor how well your kidneys are working and how much urine you are making.
You will be given extra oxygen to breath via a mask and you will have a drip in your arm giving you fluid.
A few hours after your operation you will be able to start to drink. You will be given two nutritious drinks on the evening after your operation. This is to provide you with the nutrients necessary for healing. The nursing staff will help you to sit up out of your bed.
If you have any pain you can be given additional painkillers so please tell the nursing staff if you are uncomfortable. It is very common to feel sick after an operation. You can be given an anti-sickness medication to help with this.
It is important to do deep breathing exercises. The physiotherapist will explain how to do this. It is important that you do these exercises at least twice an hour when you are awake to reduce the risk of a chest infection.
You will be able to eat and drink today. You will also be given four nutritious drinks as extra supplements throughout the day.
The nurses will help you out of bed and you should spend at least eight hours out of bed today. The physiotherapist will help you to walk and you should aim to walk the length of the ward four times. Being upright out of bed and walking around is good for your recovery. It helps prevent chest infections and encourages your bowels to return to normal function.
Day 2 onwards
You will be started on oral painkillers. The dose will be adjusted to give you optimal pain relief. It is important to continue with your deep breathing exercises.
Your catheter will be removed on day 2-3. If you are managing to drink enough, the drip will be stopped. You can eat and drink as usual and will have extra nutritious drinks as supplements.
You should spend at least eight hours out of bed and aim to walk a little further each day.
You should be able to leave hospital about four days after your operation. We will not discharge you from hospital until we are sure that you are ready. This means that we will make sure your pain is well controlled, you are able to eat and drink, your bowels are functioning and there is someone at home to help you.