Knowing what will happen when you wake up after your operation can help you feel less anxious. It also prepares your family and friends for what to expect.
You will probably feel quite drowsy and may not remember much about the first couple of hours after you wake up. A nurse will take your blood pressure regularly so you might be aware of the blood pressure cuff tightening on your arm every so often.
Depending on the operation you have you may have some tubes attached to your body. If you had a small operation you may not have any tubes at all. Here’s a list of the most common types of tubes to have following an operation:
- A drip (intravenous infusion) to give you fluids until you are able to eat and drink normally. This may only be for a few hours or a few days, depending on the operation you’ve had.
- You may have a tube (drain) in your wound to drain excess fluid into a small bottle. This is usually removed after a few days.
- A small tube (catheter) may be put into your bladder so that urine is drained into a collection bag. The catheter is usually removed when you start walking about.
- Some people may have a tube that goes up the nose and down into the stomach. It’s called a naso-gastric tube and is used to remove fluid from the stomach until the bowel starts working again.
Not everyone will need all of these. You can read about what to expect in the surgery section of the type of cancer you have.