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Follow-up Care

After your surgery at Northwest Community Hospital, your doctors and nurses will check on you often. Depending upon the type of surgery you have, you will be given specific instructions for your recovery. Be sure to follow them closely so you can heal faster and feel better.

During recovery

  • If you have inpatient surgery, NCH therapists, dietitians, social workers, clergy and others will be close by to help out.
  • Before you go home, your healthcare team will review written instructions with you.
  • If you are having outpatient surgery, you will need a responsible adult to stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery to help you move about, prepare meals and get medications.
  • It's a good idea to have the following foods on hand: clear liquids, soup, crackers, toast, gelatin and juice.
  • You should not drive a car or drink alcoholic beverages for the first 24 hours after surgery, or drive while taking pain medication that makes you drowsy.
  • Follow your healthcare team's advice about walking, deep breathing and eating after surgery.

Walking after surgery

  • Walking helps your blood flow and your body's functions get back to normal.
  • Be sure to have someone help you the first time you get out of bed and begin walking.

Eating after surgery

  • Food may be hard to digest after some types of surgery.
  • If you're in the hospital, you may have an IV for nutrition.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor's orders about eating and drinking.

Breathing and coughing after surgery

  • In the hospital you may be asked to use a spirometer or deep breathing exerciser.
  • Deep breathing clears the lungs and helps prevent pneumonia.
  • You may be asked to cough; this may be difficult at first.
  • If you have an incision, holding a pillow over it when you cough can help.

Pain management after surgery

  • You may receive pain medication in the hospital or be sent home with a prescription.
  • Everyone has a different level of pain tolerance. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor or nurse for pain medication.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any side effects from medication.

Home care

  • Depending upon the type of surgery you have, you may require home health care for a few days or weeks
  • Most patients are referred through their physicians; however you may request services directly if you have difficulty leaving your home and require intermittent and skilled health care.
  • For more information call 847.618.7800 or visit our Home Care section.

Physical therapy after surgery

  • Your doctor may recommend that you begin physical therapy after you have recovered from surgery.
  • NCH offers a complete Physical Rehabilitation Services department staffed by highly trained and licensed physical therapists and certified assistants.
  • They will consult with your doctor to design an individual program for you to help build up your strength and treat any possible post-surgical problems with standing, walking, range of motion, balance, coordination or endurance.
  • For more information on the Physical Rehabilitation Services department, call 847.618.3550.
  • To schedule an appointment for physical therapy, call 847.618.3700. A physician's order is required to schedule an appointment.

If you are having surgery, visit the Patient section for all the pre-op information you need.

For a physician referral, please call HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968), or view a list of surgeons at Northwest Community Hospital.

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Last Updated 2013/03/13