After Your Surgery

Following your procedure at Oklahoma Surgical Hospital, you will spend some time in the recovery area until the effects of your anesthesia subside.

You may notice:

• A dressing  to protect your incision. You may also have a tube to drain fluid from your incisions. A nurse will check these often.
• An oxygen mask or tube. You may have a mask over your mouth or a tube placed just inside your nose to give you oxygen.
• An IV line. This line may deliver pain medications or fluids to replace those lost during surgery.
• A catheter. This will drain your urine until you are able to go to the bathroom on your own.
• Monitors and other devices. Nursing personnel use these to check your vital signs and monitor your recovery.
• Parents of small children having surgery may be asked to come to Recovery.

After your initial recovery, if you had outpatient surgery, you will be taken to our Outpatient Discharge area and your family or guests will be allowed to join you there. If you are having inpatient surgery, you will be taken to a room on our inpatient nursing unit. Your family will be escorted to your patient room.

You may experience some pain after your surgery. However, nurses and staff are on hand and will work hard to control your pain. Staff will need your help to determine your level of pain and will frequently ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being high or severe. Your physician will order medication to help control your pain and your nurse will communicate with you regularly and ask whether you need medication. It is important to remember not to wait for your pain to become uncomfortable before requesting medication. It takes time for the medication to work and if you wait too long it will become more difficult to get the pain under control.

Your nurse will discuss with you the medications you have received during your hospital stay. You will be given a patient medication sheet which describes the most common side effects of the medications that you have  received. Please ask your nurse if you have any questions regarding your medications.

Possible side effects from surgery and anesthesia:

• Drowsiness, if you had general anesthesia.
• Hearing/speech issues. Your hearing may return before you can speak or open your eyes. Noises may seem louder.
• Nausea, vomiting, gas or headache. A nurse may help you change positions or give you medications to help ease these side effects.
• Sore throat, dry mouth and thirst. If a breathing tube was used, your throat may feel dry and sore. You may also feel thirsty from not having had anything to drink for hours. A nurse may offer you ice chips or wet your lips with a cloth dipped in water.
• Shivering or coldness. As you come out of the anesthesia, you may feel cold. A nurse can give you blankets to keep warm and will check your
temperature often.
• Soreness or discomfort. After lying still in one position for a long time, you may feel stiff or uncomfortable. The area that was operated on may feel sore. A nurse can provide medications and help you turn so that you are more comfortable.

Let a nurse know right away if you have any side effects or discomfort.

Information for Inpatients

To help control your pain, your physician may order a patient controlled pain pump. Your nurse will instruct you on how to operate it. Please note that at times you may hear this pain pump make a beeping noise. This is not unusual, please notify the nurse to check the pump when this occurs.

It may seem contradictory, but early and frequent walking after surgery will prevent complications such as blood clots and pneumonia and will increase blood flow that helps speed healing. Our nursing staff will assist you in walking the day of your surgery. As you get stronger and our staff feel you are able, you will be encouraged to walk on your own. If you are able to do this, it is not necessary to notify the nurse. But if you are not comfortable walking alone, let our staff know and they will be happy to assist you.

For your safety, it is hospital practice that patients stay on the nursing unit they are assigned and not leave the floor – particularly patients with IV fluids. If a patient with no IV fluids chooses to leave the floor, it must be 2 hours after their narcotic medication is given. It is important to notify your nurse if you are interested in leaving the nursing unit.

Other ways to help prevent complications, if your surgical site allows:

• Ankle flex exercises. Lie on your back with your legs slightly apart. Keep your feet straight, toes pointed up. Slowly point your feet down, then back up.
• Ankle rotations. Lie on your back with your legs slightly apart. Keep your feet straight, toes pointed up. Rotate each ankle inward and then outward. Imagine drawing a circle with your big toe. Return to starting position.
• Position changes. At first, a nurse may help you move and turn in bed. They will teach you how to turn, change positions, sit with your legs dangling over the side of the bed and how to get out of bed on your own.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions exactly for doing these or any other activities after surgery.

Deep breathing, coughing and using your Incentive Spirometer several times a day will also help prevent pneumonia. An Incentive Spirometer is a device to help you fully expand your lungs after surgery. You will receive one when you are admitted into your room and will be instructed on the correct technique in using it.

Wash your hands frequently or use a waterless hand gel to prevent infection. Oklahoma Surgical Hospital is a smoke-free facility. We strongly encourage you to stop smoking during your recovery period because nicotine prevents bone healing and could inhibit your healing process. Talk to your doctor about nicotine patches that may be available to assist you with this process.

All rooms at OSH are private rooms and have been designed to provide you with a comfortable setting in which to recover. Each patient room has a flat screen television complete with cable service and wireless internet access. Other amenities in your room include a robe and personal toiletries. We encourage you to wear your robe while walking on the nursing unit. Please take this robe home with you as a complimentary gift from us.

You will order your meals from our restaurant style menu, known as “At Your Request.” Your meals will be cooked to order for you from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Place your order by dialing DINE or 3463 from your room telephone. A room service associate will take your order, and your food will be delivered to your room. Please note, your specific dietary restrictions could limit your choices. Remember, “At Your Request” room service dining has replaced the traditional food service process and you will need to place an order to receive your meal.

During your stay, one adult family member may stay overnight with you. Rollout or murphy beds are available. Food vouchers are available for guests and may be purchased with cash at the nursing station or via credit card on the phone to Room Service.

Oklahoma Surgical Hospital