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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A gastrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your stomach.
- Antibiotic medicine: This is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Take as directed.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- 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 up with your healthcare provider 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.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your healthcare provider'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 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. Eat small meals often. As you heal, you may be able to increase the variety and amount of food you eat. You may need additional iron, folate, and vitamin B12. Ask for more information about food and dietary supplements.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You get frequent heartburn.
- You have chills, a cough, a sore throat, or feel weak and achy.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have frequent constipation or diarrhea.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You get 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.
- 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.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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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.