Here's what to expect in the days after surgery....

Day 1

Surgery day

There’s not a lot to be said about the day of surgery apart from “you just had major surgery”. You may be feeling:

  • Lethargic
  • Tired
  • Grumpy
  • Sleepy
  • Shoulder pain (from gas used in surgery)
  • Tight/sore tummy
  • Still slightly dazed as you will be on pain killers
  • Thirsty

Some people suffer from post-surgery blues, so it is important you talk to someone if you are feeling this way. Most people will sleep this day away.

Day 2

Day two (1 day after surgery)

On day two you will be ready for something to eat! Yes that’s right! But hold on, you won’t be tucking into a steak or a burger, at this stage your stomach can only handle fluids. But the diet will prepare you for getting real food shortly.

  • Protein drink (in a popper box)
  • Soup broth
  • Water
  • Tea

To get up out of bed will be quite uncomfortable as surgery has cut through some of the muscle in your core. You will learn to roll to your side, elevate the bed and push yourself up. If you are struggling, nursing staff will be able to help. Surgery wounds will have waterproof dressings so if you can, have a shower, you’ll feel a lot better.

Important to follow the surgeon’s instructions. If you are up for it, going for a slow walk will get things moving. Don’t push it!

Day 3

Day 3 (two days after surgery)

Day 3 (or 2 days after surgery) in most cases you are ready to be discharged! Not kidding!

You would have had 6 meals of broth (minimum) by this stage and your stomach is ready to receive a little more. You will still be quite sore and it is important if you are feeling too much pain to tell someone. Pain medication is available.

Our Concierge will let you know in advance when you are ready for discharge and the surgeon will touch base with you before you leave. The Surgeon’s dietition will also visit and go through your food plan for the next week and months to come.

Day 4

Day 4 (three days after surgery)

You should be checked out barring any complications and on your way to your hotel.

Once you arrive at the hotel, the concierge will take you to the supermarket to do some food shopping! That’s right. No shakes, real food. The dietitian has provided a list of foods that you should be able to eat on any given day after surgery.

Stage 2 eating: (day 3-5)

  • Thicker soups, Milk, Soy, Creamy soups, Yoghurt
  • Soft solids, Tofu, soft scrambled eggs, poached eggs, soft cheeses, soft jelly
  • Sipping water (regularly and constantly)

You should be able to buy Campbells (or similar) packet soup. Some people can handle milk but just about everyone can take in some yoghurt and soft cheeses like Brie.

By this stage you will be walking around easier and getting in and out of bed a lot easier as well. Going for a walk around the shopping centre will be food for you.

Day 5-8

Day 5-8 (4-7 days after surgery)

From about day 7 (6 days after surgery) you will be feeling awesome. There will be a lot of fluid loss by this stage and you may find yourself weighing up to 10kg less already.

Stage 3 Eating – Day 6 to day 10

  • Semi Solids, Fish, prawns, crab, eggs, rice puddings, overcooked pasted and noodles,ripe mushy fruits, watermelon

If you are going home after 7 days (minimum requirement) after surgery, you’ll probably be ready to go by now, but also keen to get out a bit more and explore.

You’ll have significantly more energy than the previous days and your skin will have changed (become clearer/brighter). Some patients have reported by the time they are ready to leave Malaysia they have already lost 12-15KG. Keep in mind as above that this will be a lot of fluid.

Consultation

You will have a consultation with the surgeon prior to leaving.He will change your dressings and ensure everything is going well. You will meet with the dietitian again usually during this consult and she will reinforce the eating plan and it’s importance. The surgeon will clear you to fly home during this consult.

Questions

This is the time to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have. Although the surgeon is available via email/WhatsApp after surgery, being present is better than over the phone.

Considerations for your flight

A lot of clients at this stage will be worried about the long flight home. If it’s suitable we usually tell clients to select an overnight flight as you will have more chance of sleeping. The surgeon will provide you some blood thinning medication for the flight and it is IMPORTANT you follow the instructions as this will reduce the risk of DVT or clotting during the flight

On the flight

Get up and walk around. You’ll be surprised how many laps you can do around an international flight. Most people will be sleeping so you shouldn’t annoy anyone. Sip water constantly, flying already tends to dehydrate so make sure you take enough water or request a few bottles of water.

Eating on the flight

This can be difficult. You can take food with you, but you will need to discard before you re-enter Australia so don’t over purchase.

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