After Surgery

After your surgery, you will either be transferred to the Fondren Intensive Care Unit (FICU) or to the recovery room and a monitored bed in Dunn 8 or 9.

Tubes and Lines

After the operation, you will likely have several lines and drains:

  • Nasal cannula or oxygen mask: to provide humidification and oxygen.
  • IV lines: to give fluids and medication.
  • Arterial line: to monitor blood pressure.
  • Chest tube: to drain fluid and air from the chest cavity.
  • Pulse Oximeter: to measure oxygen level.
  • Foley catheter: to drain urine
  • Telemetry: to monitor heart rate and rhythm.

Each of these tubes and lines will be removed over the next couple of days as you recover from your surgery.

Pain management

It is very important to control your pain after the operation. Patients with poor pain control are at a higher risk of developing complications. We have adopted pre-emptive pain control in which we give scheduled pain medication instead of giving medication after patients experience pain. Pain medications are given through the IV line or by mouth. Everyone has different levels of pain tolerance, so you should let your nurse know immediately when your pain is not controlled by current therapy.

Pulmonary recovery

After the operation, you need to work on getting your lungs back into shape. You will start deep breathing and coughing exercises on the evening of your surgery with the help of an incentive spirometer. You will also need to sit in a chair most of the day at least 6 hours and walk at least three times a day after the operation. This will decrease your chance of getting pneumonia.


Excluding patients who have certain esophageal surgeries, you will have a regular night after your surgery.