Normally you’ll stay in bed until the morning after your surgery, and the bed will be bent in the middle, so your hips are flexed to take the tension off the wound.
The next day you’ll be helped out of bed and can take short walks to the bathroom and back. You’ll probably walk ‘bent over’ as your abdomen will feel tight; it’s important not to try to straighten up as this may put undue tension on the wound. Your posture will improve over the first week or two after surgery as your body adapts to its new shape.
You may also have pneumatic calf compression pumps fitted after surgery that will stay on until you get out of bed the next day. We’ll give you injections of blood-thinning medication once a day during your hospital stay to reduce the risk of blood clots in your legs while you’re less mobile immediately after surgery.
During your recovery in hospital, our caring nurses will ensure that your post-operative garment fits properly and you’re comfortable taking it off and putting it back on by yourself, in preparation for discharge from hospital. If you are having difficulty in getting to the bathroom after your operation, it may be necessary to insert a temporary catheter, so you do not have to get out of bed to pass urine (for 24 hours for example).
Another point to be aware of is that your abdomen has been tightened significantly, so your tummy will not be able to expand outwards after meals. You may feel more bloated than usual after eating, as your stomach will only be able to expand inwards. This may result in you needing to have smaller meals than usual, whilst your body adjusts to its new shape. It’s often a good idea to take some mild laxatives for a few days after surgery to soften your stools - this will prevent the need to strain and put further pressure on your abdominal wall.