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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A gastrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your stomach.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You vomit blood.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
Call your doctor or surgeon if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have abdominal pain that does not go away or gets worse.
- Your incision is swollen, red, has pus coming from it, or it starts to come apart.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You get heartburn often.
- You have a cough, a sore throat, or feel weak and achy.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have constipation or diarrhea often
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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 your healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the surgery area. Do not rub the area to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel to dry it. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed. Check the area for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus.
- You may need to eat foods that are soft and easy to digest for up to 8 weeks after your surgery. Examples of soft foods are applesauce, bananas, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, eggs, pudding, and yogurt. As you heal, you may be able to increase the variety and amount of food you eat.
- Eat small meals often. This may help prevent nausea or diarrhea.
- Wait 30 to 60 minutes after you eat before you drink any liquid.
- You may need more iron, folate (vitamin B9), and vitamin B12. Ask for more information about food and dietary supplements.
Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:
You may need to return to have your stitches, staples, or drains removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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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.
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