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Enhanced Recovery After Colorectal Surgery

Preparing for your Colorectal Surgery

  • Start exercising. Walk 1/2 mile a day.
  • Smokers-STOP SMOKING for at least 72 hours before surgery.
  • Start 1 Multivitamin daily and Eat a High Protein diet for 7 days before surgery.
  • Stop Alcohol at least 7 days before surgery.
  • Keep your Pre-admission Testing Hospital Appointment.
  • Your surgeon or nurse will instruct you on which home medications to take the morning of surgery. If you are on chronic pain medications (including pain patches), continue those as ordered until admission.
  • Follow your surgeon’s orders for Bowel Prep and Pre-Surgical Skin Cleansing.
  • Clear liquids are encouraged until 2 hours before surgery. Clear liquids include apple, cranberry or grape juice, Kool Aid or Soft Drinks for non- diabetic patients. Diabetic patients can have Sugar free Kool Aid, Diet Soft Drinks, G2 or Powerade ZERO.
  • NON DIABETIC PATIENTS MUST DRINK 32 OZ. OF GATORADE OR POWERADE ON THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL. DIABETIC PATIENTS MUST DRINK 32 OZ. OF G2 OR POWERADE ZERO ON THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL.

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Your Post Operative Plan of Care

  • Many patients will begin clear liquids the day of surgery. BRING A PACK OF CHEWING GUM WITH YOU. Chewing gum helps to wake up your intestines. You can start this as soon as you’re fully awake. Your diet will be advanced daily as tolerated.
  • You will receive help getting out of bed the day of surgery. Early mobility helps to prevent complications like pneumonia, blood clots and constipation. Your activity level will increase daily.
  • We will use several methods to manage your postoperative pain. Chronic pain medications will be continued. Our goal is to minimize the use of opioid (narcotic) pain medication which can slow down your bowel. You will likely feel some discomfort but we strive to make pain tolerable for you. Speak up if the pain management plan is not controlling your pain.
  • Most patients will be ready for discharge 2-3 days after surgery. Your surgeon and nurse will educate you on care at home. Post operative instructions are given to help complete your recovery. Please ask any questions to clarify what we’re asking of you and why.

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