Surgical Instructions

The Morning of Surgery

  • You will receive a call from the office the night prior to your EGD and/or surgical procedure and told when to report to the hospital – usually between 5:30 AM and 9:30 AM to the AM Procedure Unit on the 7th Floor of Atlanta Medical Center. For Crawford Long Hospital patients, you will be given specific instructions when you go for your pre-op evaluation. If you are having your surgery at the Atlanta Ambulatory Surgery Center you will go to the facility on your pre-op visit, sign consents and received orientation. Please remember to bring a picture ID and/or driver’s license with you to the surgery center to receive your ID wrist band.
  • You will be asked to replace your clothing with a patient gown and a pair of booties. The nurse will start an IV in preparation for surgery.
  • If you took any medication the morning prior to reporting to the hospital, let the nurse know.
  • You will take medications as ordered by your physician.
  • You will be taken to the Operating Room and placed in the Holding Area. Upon arrival, you will meet the surgical team and the anesthesiologist will speak to you. You will be given medication that will make you very drowsy prior to being taken to the Operating Room suite.

Your family members will be asked to wait in the Surgical Waiting Room. Family members of other patients undergoing surgery that day also share this waiting room. Please limit the number of family members to two adults. Children under the age of 12 should not accompany you to the surgical center.

After Surgery

  • You will be taken to the Recovery Room following surgery where your respiratory status and vital signs will be monitored. This is to ensure that you are stable before sending you to the nursing unit. If we detect any concerns regarding your vital signs or respiratory status, you may be brought to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit to be monitored post operatively. If you are in the Ambulatory Surgery Center, you may be transferred to the hospital. This does take place on occasion and you should be aware of the possibility.
  • You may experience pressure in your abdomen during your stay in the recovery room. This is normal, however you should notify your nurse of any discomfort.
  • When the anesthesiologist feels you are stable and doing well, you will be transferred to the Surgical Unit.

Post-op On Surgical Floor

  • Most of the bariatric patients are placed on specially designed wing of the medical center. If the physician feels you are recovering well, you will go home the evening of the surgery.
  • Upon arrival to your room family members will have to step out so the nurse can get you checked in from surgery. Once you are checked in, the nurse will allow your family to return to your bedside.
  • The nurse or patient care assistant will bring you a 1oz/30 ml cup with ice chips. You will be allowed to have a 1oz cup of ice every two (2) hours for that day. Most patients will have a PCA (Pain Controlled Analgesia) pump that provides pain medication. The nurse will demonstrate how to use the pump. Most patients experience very little pain after surgery.
  • Patients that are on CPAP or Bi-PAP prior to surgery may be given pain medication as needed by the nurse. We ask that you do not bring your CPAP machine to the hospital and refrain from using it for 3 days after your procedure.
  • When you are in bed you will have wraps around both of your lower legs connected to a pump that inflates and deflates. They are called SCD or sequential compression device. The SCDs help prevent blood clots and improve the circulation in your lower extremities. Be sure these are on your legs while you are in bed. They may be removed when you get up and walk.
  • You will be given an incentive spirometer which will help you take deep breaths and helps prevent pneumonia.
  • Once you awake from the anesthesia and your vital signs and urine output are good, the staff will get you out of bed and start walking you in the halls. Please try to start walking as soon as possible. Ask the nurse to assist you the first time you try to get out of bed.
  • The following morning, some patients will be taken down to the Radiology (x-ray) Department for a leak test or gastrograffin swallow study. The technician will give you a small amount of fluid to drink. As you drink this fluid, the radiologist will take pictures as it flows down into the new pouch. If you do not have a leak, you will return to the floor and the nurse will give you 1 oz/30ml of fluid every 30 minutes.
  • If you tolerate the liquids without experiencing any nausea or vomiting your IV will be removed and you will be able to go home.

Discharge Instructions:

BATHING: You may shower 48 hours after surgery. No tub baths, swimming or hot tub use for 4 weeks following surgery.

DRESSINGS: Keep the dressing dry for 48 hours after surgery. After 48 hours you may remove the top dressing and leave the steri-strips (thin white pieces of tape). These may get wet and will eventually fall off. The ones remaining will be removed in 2 weeks on the first post-op visit. The umbilical area may not have steri-strips and may drain a clear light brown or pale red color fluid. This is normal as long as the drainage is not pale yellow or tan in color. Some patients will have a clear glue like substance over your incisions. This will peel off by itself.

Your incisions should be cleaned once a day with Hydrogen Peroxide. Clean the umbilical area with Hydrogen Peroxide or alcohol as long as it is draining.

ACTIVITY: You may resume usual self-care. You may drive when you feel you are able. No lifting, pushing, pulling or tugging over 25 lbs. for 4 weeks. Walking every day and using incentive spirometry at least 4 times a day (for 2 weeks) is very important.