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What To Expect

Patient – Robotic Thoracic Surgery Typical Recovery Plan:

  • Robotic Thoracic Surgery Typical Recovery Plan

  • Your Robotic Thoracic Surgery Typical Recovery Plan

The following provides information about the specific day to day occurrences following a TYPICAL hospitalization.

Before your surgery, Dr. Lewis and members of your healthcare team will review with you the details of your surgical procedure and your recovery. The goal of the recovery plan is to help you gain independence in your personal care and daily activities before you return home. Your participation, as well as the participation of the people who will assist with your care at home, is vital increasing your independence. The healthcare team will work with you as you progress on your road to recovery.

This recovery plan is only a guide. The typical length of stay is 2-4 days. Each patient’s daily activities may vary. All pre op questions may be answered by your provider.

Robotic Surgery Typical Recovery Plan

Day of Surgery:

  • PLEASE do not eat or drink after midnight the day of your surgery. It is very important you tell the nurses if you have.
  • You should have stopped your blood thinner (if on any) prior to surgery, as instructed by our office. If you haven’t, or are unsure, let the nurses know.
  • A nurse in pre-admission testing will talk with you and prepare you for surgery. You have already had lab work and tests done, but we might do some more lab work at this time. Pre-admission testing is often done two day to two weeks prior to your operation.
  • Your family will be directed to go to the family waiting room on the 3rd floor while you are in surgery. Your belongings will be moved to your room on the floor. After surgery, you will wake up in the CICU. Expect to spend 1-2 days here; often, just one day. From there, you will be transferred to our cardiac surgery floor and complete your recovery.
  • Dr. Lewis or a member of his team will talk to your family after surgery. Your family may visit you later in your room.
  • You may wake up with a breathing tube. This is removed as soon as it is safe to do so. Your nurse will remain at bedside and discuss this with you and your family.
  • You will do breathing and coughing exercises every hour while you are awake. You will have an intravenous (IV) line in your neck, arm, or hand. You may have more than one.
  • You will have chest tubes near your incision, often in your upper abdomen, directly below your chest cavity. Medication for pain will be provided as you need it. You will have blood drawn after surgery also.

Post Operative Day 1

  • Dr. Lewis or his team will see you early in the morning.
  • You and your family will begin to help in your daily cares (bathing, teeth brushing, hair combing). Your oxygen will be removed.
  • You will be placed on a regular diet as soon as possible.
  • You should sit up in the chair or in an upright position when you eat. This helps with swallowing. Your chest tube will be removed in the following couple days.
  • After your chest tube bandages are removed, wash area with soap and water.
  • The most important thing you can do to speed your recovery is to do breathing and coughing exercises every hour while you are awake and prepare to start walking three to four times a day starting today.
  • Dr. Lewis will be in touch with your cardiologist. He will give an update on your operation, often the day of or a day or two after your procedure.

 At Home

  • Continue being very active at home. Walk five to six times per day. Use your incentive spirometer at least two to three times per day. There isn’t a “max” walking time. You should walk as often and as far as possible, resting when necessary. If weather is an issue, you should have a friend or family member take you to an indoor walking area, such as a mall, grocery store, church or exercise facility. If you are steady enough to do so, an incumbent bike or treadmill are also good options.
  • Confirm your appointment with Dr. Lewis’ office 205-786-2776 if you were not provided a date.
  • Your home management includes:
    • Pain Management: You will be given a prescription for pain pills before you leave the hospital. Please notify the office that you need a refill prior to the weekend or upcoming holiday.
    • Activity: NO DRIVING while on narcotics (we often say two weeks)
    • Lifting: No lifting greater than 5-8 lbs for 2 weeks
    • Arm exercises: Walking up the wall on affected side and stretching arm over head
    • Chest tube site: You may remove the dressing from this site after 1 day. You may have drainage from the chest tube sites; this is normal. Please call if this drainage continues and is foul smelling.
    • Showering: You may shower when your chest tube dressing is removed. You may shower, using soap on the incision and patting it dry. No tub baths or submersion of the chest tube sites for 2 weeks after surgery. Showering daily is important to wash away everyday germs.
  • COMMON CONCERNS PATIENTS MAY HAVE ONCE HOME:
    • Pain/burning/numbness/tingling sensation to upper back, shoulder, under breast, and abdomen- You may find adding Motrin (600mg every eight hours) or Aleve (Take as directed) with your pain medication is helpful (if you do not have a history of bleeding ulcer or kidney disease and can take ibuprofen). Please ask your provider or our office before starting any additional medications. A blood thinner may prevent you from taking NSAID as well.
    • Frequent Cough. You may find taking Robitussin will decrease the cough
    • Hypersensitivity of skin
    • Constipation- The Pain medication can make you constipated. You should have a bowel movement at least every other day, take any laxative of your choice. A daily stool softener is a good idea.
    • Continue to increase your activity over the next two weeks. It is common to be tired in the afternoon after being up and active that morning. You may find a nap or rest early afternoon helpful.

Patients – Guest Rooms:

  • Our surgeons and Brookwood Baptist Health know that patients are more likely to be better off when their family can be close to them during their hospital stay.
  • Princeton Baptist Medical Center offers 24 guest rooms located in Professional Office Building (POB) II on the fourth floor.
  • These rooms provide a comfortable and convenient means for family to remain close to patients during the hospital stay, with easy access to hospital facilities and units.
  • Each room is clean and modern, with accommodations very like those you would fine in a nice hotel.
  • Cable television and WiFi Internet access are available in each room.
  • Guests may register at the Princeton Guest Rooms Desk located in POB III. Registration desk hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • During the weekend, guests may register at the main hospital information desk.
  • Please note that all rooms are non-smoking.
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover and cash are accepted.

For more information, call 205-783-7700, or click here to contact us. Also, our office can assist you with this prior to your surgery.