This information will help you prepare to go home after being discharged from the gynecology service.
You will be ready to leave the hospital when:
- You have sounds in your stomach that let your 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.
- You are able to eat solid food. It may take several weeks for your appetite to be the same as it was before your surgery. However, you must be able to eat some solid foods before you leave the hospital.
- You are not in too much pain. You should expect to have some discomfort after surgery, but you will get pain medication. It should make you comfortable enough to recover at home.
- You are able to get up and walk. Some people 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.
Getting Ready to Leave the Hospital
You will be told in advance what day you are likely to be discharged from the hospital. Most patients are discharged by 11:00 am.
Your incisions (surgical cuts) may be closed with staples. If you go home before they are removed, your doctor or nurse will tell you when to make an appointment to have them taken out.
Some people may go home with:
- 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, your nurse will teach you and your caregiver how to care for them. If you need any supplies, he or she will order them for you. A visiting nurse may come to your home, if needed. Your doctor will tell you when the drain or catheter will be removed. A staff member from your doctor’s office will make you an appointment for their removal before you are discharged from the hospital.
You will get 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.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at ____________________. After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call____________________. If there’s no number listed, or you’re not sure, call 212-639-2000.