What to Expect After Surgery
Advanced Joint Care
& Replacement Center
Mills-Peninsula Medical Center
1501 Trousdale Drive
4th Floor East
Burlingame, CA 94010
Google Map to Medical Center
After a short stay in the recovery room, you will be brought to the Advanced Joint Care & Replacement Center on the 4th floor. A nurse will monitor your temperature, oxygen level, pulse and blood pressure throughout your stay, including at night.
- Intravenous Fluids and Medication: You will receive fluids and antibiotics through an intravenous line (IV) inserted into your vein until you can drink enough fluid on your own. A nurse will measure your fluid intake and output.
- Oxygen Assistance: You may need extra oxygen after surgery. This is given through a nasal tube, and is usually removed within 24 hours, based on your doctor’s recommendation.
- Breathing Exercises: You will use a hand-held device called an incentive spirometer to help clear your lungs and improve breathing. Take at least 10 breaths every hour on the incentive spirometer, practicing deep breathing and coughing.
- Diet: You will resume your regular diet in stages,
starting with ice chips and clear fluids and progressing to solid food as you feel better.
- Blood-thinning Medication: Your doctor may prescribe medication to help prevent blood clots. If you are taking the medication by injection, your nurse will teach you how to give them to yourself. You will also receive a booklet with information about this type of medication and precautions to follow while taking it. The dietitian will give you information about how your diet may affect blood-thinning medication.
- Bathroom Assistance: A nurse will help you go into the bathroom. Please use your call button if you need to get out of bed. Some people, but not all, have a bladder catheter for a day or two after surgery.
- Wound Care: The surgeon may place a drain at the surgical site; blood-tinged drainage is to be expected. Your nurses will check the wound frequently and monitor your circulation. The drain is usually removed a day or two after surgery.
- Leg Exercise and Circulation: To prevent blood clots while you’re lying in bed, your legs may be wrapped in plastic sleeves that are inflated and deflated by a pump on the floor. The pump makes a whooshing sound.
- In Bed: You may have a large wedge foam pillow between your legs, or a knee immobilizer, so you don’t turn over while you sleep.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is vital for recovery. A physical therapist will assess you the day of surgery, and you will work with your physical therapist each day that you’re in the hospital.
- Discharge Planning: Your case manager will visit you to assess your needs at home. The case manager will help create a post-discharge plan tailored to assist your recovery, including any special equipment you may need.