After Your Operation

On this page, you can read all about what to expect during your hospital stay. Or, just click on one of the links below to get the answer you want.

What will happen right after my operation?
  • You will wake up in the Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) and stay there for 1–2 hours.
  • Once you are ready to leave the PACU, you will be moved to the Vascular Surgical Inpatient Unit on the 4th floor of the Peter Munk Building.
  • You may be connected to some machines and tubes:
    • Heart monitor – electrodes are placed on your chest and wires connects them to a monitor. It allows us to monitor your heart rate.
    • Oximeter – a small device is placed on your finger to allow us to monitor oxygen level in your blood.
    • Nasal prongs – a small plastic tube is placed in your nose. It allows us to give you extra oxygen.
    • Intravenous (IV) lines – small plastic catheters are placed in your arm and at the side of your neck. They allow us to administer needed IV fluids and medications.
How will I feel after my operation?
  • You will have some pain and discomfort after surgery. This is normal. Good pain control is a step in your recovery.
  • You will be asked to describe your pain to your health care team so that they can understand how much pain you are having and how well the pain medication is working.
How can I take care of myself after my operation?
  • Taking deep breaths, coughing, and getting up and walking around as soon as possible will help keep your lungs clear as well as help prevent pneumonia and blood clots.
  • Deep breathing and coughing exercises should be done every 1 to 2 hours when you are awake. You may find it more comfortable to hold a pillow on your operated side when you cough.
  • You can expect to drink and slowly resume your regular diet the evening after your procedure. It is normal not to feel hungry. Try to eat a little at each meal.
  • Your bowel habits may be affected by the pain medications. Tell your team if you are not having regular bowel movements.
  • If you were taking blood thinners before the surgery, you will need to start taking them again before you leave hospital. At first you will take a reduced dose and then a regular dose for 3 months after the surgery.
How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • When you can go home will depend on how well you are recovering. Your health care team may tell you the day before you go home so you can to prepare for discharge the next day. You may need to spend at least 1 to 2 nights in the hospital.
What will happen will before I leave the hospital?
  • Before you leave, the health care team will teach you:
    • How to take care of your incisions
    • What exercises to do
    • How to manage your pain
    • When you can drive, return to work and resume usual activities
    • What warning signs to watch for and when to call the doctor
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