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Gynecology Service: What You Should Know About Going Home

This information will prepare you for being discharged from the hospital.

You will be told in advance what day you are likely to be discharged from the hospital. Most patients can expect to be discharged by 11:00 am.

You will be ready for discharge once you:

  • Have sounds in your stomach that let the doctors and nurses know that your bowels are working. You do not need to have a bowel movement or pass gas before you are discharged.
  • Are able to eat solid food. It may take several weeks for your appetite to be what it was before your surgery, but you must be able to eat some solid foods before you are discharged.
  • Are able to manage your pain. You should expect to have discomfort after surgery, but you will get pain medication. It should make you comfortable enough to manage at home.
  • Are able to walk. Some patients may need to see a physical therapist to help with their recovery. Others may need to go to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home setting.

Some patients may go home with the following:

  • A Foley® catheter to drain urine from the bladder
  • A drain in the abdomen
  • An open wound
  • An ostomy, or an opening made in the wall of the abdomen to drain urine or stool (feces)

If you will go home with any of these, you or a caregiver will be taught how to care for them. You will also be told when they will be removed. Any supplies you need will be ordered for you. A visiting nurse may come to your home, if needed.

Your incisions (surgical cuts) may be closed with staples. If you go home before they are removed, you will be told when to make an appointment to have them taken out.

You will be given prescriptions, instructions on how to care for your incisions, and phone numbers where you can reach your doctor or nurse. Please keep these numbers in a safe place.