WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A laparoscopic gastrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your stomach.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Medicines to help treat or prevent an infection or to decrease pain may be given. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) how to take prescription pain medicine safely.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or surgeon as directed:
Ask when you need to return to have your wound checked. You will also need to have your stitches or staples removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your PHP's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.
You will be started on soft foods while you are in the hospital. Some examples are applesauce, baby food, bananas, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, eggs, gelatin, pudding, and yogurt. Your caregivers will check on how well you do with these foods. You may be able to eat larger amounts of food when your incisions heal completely. Your body may not get enough nutrients from food after your stomach is removed. You may need extra iron, folate, and vitamin B12. Ask your PHP for more information about your diet and any supplements that may be right for you.
Contact your PHP or surgeon if:
- You cannot make it to your next appointment.
- You have frequent heartburn.
- You have a cough, sore throat, or feel weak and achy.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have trouble having a bowel movement, or you have diarrhea often.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up or vomit blood.
- You get a fever or chills.
- You have pain in your abdomen that does not go away or gets worse.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your incision wounds are swollen, red, or have pus coming from them.
- Your stitches come apart.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.