What to Expect During Your Hospital Stay

This information is intended to help you understand what to expect during your hospital stay so you have realistic expectations for the first few days after surgery. Following the guidelines on this sheet will help you recover from your surgery as quickly as possible and reduce the risk of some complications.

What to expect on a day to day basis

Day 0:  the afternoon and evening of surgery:

  • Once you wake up you should start your breathing and leg exercises.  You will be encouraged to sit in a chair and walk in the hallway.
  • You will be allowed to have a full diet once you are fully awake from the anesthesia and without nausea. 
  • You will be allowed to talk and move your next as usual.
  • You will be started on oral pain pills including Tylenol®. No NSAIDs will be given. Chloraseptic® spray and throat lozenges will be provided for your sore throat.
  • Most of you will be allowed to go home today, depending on the extent of your operation and your other medical problems.

Day 1:  the first post-op day:

  • If you are still in the hospital you will go home today.
  • You may shower once you get home.
  • You may resume your normal activities as you feel able.

Specific points:

Breathing exercises:
These are extremely important. You should do these every hour during waking hours, taking at least ten deep breaths. This expands the small air sacs in the lungs and minimizes postoperative fever and pneumonia. You should continue these exercises for a few days once you return to your home.

If you had outpatient surgery:
You will need to get your calcium level checked on the first or second day after your surgery. If able to come to Providence Saint Johns, arrangements will be made when you leave the hospital. If a local facility is more convenient, a prescription will be given to you when you are discharged; you will need to have the results faxed to your physician’s office. 

Going home:
When you go home, expect to be able to drink and eat freely. Your main complaint will be a sore throat that will last for three to four days; throat lozenge, Chloraseptic® spray, and ice cream/frozen yogurt (yes, your doctor is prescribing ice cream) provide the best relief. You may experience some swelling around the incision – this is normal. Cold compresses sometimes provide relief. If you live alone, you may wish to make arrangements with family or friends in advance to stay with them for a day.  If you live a long distance away from Providence Saint Johns, you may wish to make arrangements with a local hotel to stay nearby for a day before going home if you have outpatient surgery. 

Upon discharge please call our office to make a follow-up appointment in two to three weeks.

Should any questions or concerns arise, please call your physician’s office.