Surgery - Nurses

The following instructions will provide helpful information that will assist your recovery. These are designed to be general guidelines. Remember, everyone recovers differently. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your doctor.

Pain Medication

  • You will be given a prescription for a pain medicine after surgery, usually a pill called Vicodin or Percocet.
  • Please follow the direction on the label.
  • Do not drive while taking pain medication.
  • Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach. This may make you nauseated.
  • Use a stool softener or gentle laxative (such as Dulcolax suppository, or pill), as constipation is not uncommon with some pain medication.
  • If you no longer need your prescribed pain medication, you may take over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) for pain.
  • Refer to the medication instructions on the form titled "Medication Reconciliation" provided by the hospital.


  • If at all possible, have someone with you to help you at all times.
  • You may resume your pre-operative level of activity 24 hours after surgery.
  • Going up stairs is not a problem.
  • Listen to your body and rest when you are tired.
  • Do not lift anything heavy (over 15 pounds) or as directed by your physician.
  • Do not drive a motor vehicle; operate machinery or power tools for 24 hours or while taking pain medications.


  • Advance to your diet as directed by your physician slowly over the next day or two.
  • Do not drink alcohol in the immediate postoperative period while taking pain medication.

Wound Care

  • If you have a clear see-through bandage over the incision, you may take a shower. The bandage is waterproof.
    • It is not uncommon for some reddish fluid to accumulate under the plastic bandage. This is no cause for alarm.
    • The clear see-through bandage may be removed after 3 days. It is ok to leave it on until follow up with your physician.
  • If you have a gauze bandage over the incision, you may remove it in 48 hours. At that time you may shower.
  • If you have narrow white tape strips over the incision (steri-strips), keep them dry for 48 hours. Do not remove them unless they are curling up at the side and almost falling off (if you remove them sooner, you risk pulling the incision apart). You may then shower.
  • Staples or sutures are generally removed in 7-14 days.
  • Many incisions will have buried absorbable sutures, which do not need to be removed.


  • Showers should be quick (5 minutes long).
  • Do not soak in the bathtub until instructed by your doctor.

Drain Care

  • If you have a drain, record the time and amount of drainage on a piece of paper. Empty the drain every few hours or as needed. The nurse will explain how the drain works before you are discharged from the hospital.

Call Your Doctor If:

  • Your temperature is 101°F or higher. It is not uncommon to have a low-grade fever after surgery.
  • You have new redness around the incision or if pus drains from the incision.
  • Severe bleeding occurs. Apply direct pressure to the area.
  • Severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or jaundice occurs (yellow tint to eyes or skin).
  • If you cannot get in touch with your doctor, call or go to the East Jefferson General Hospital Emergency Room at (504) 503-4377.
  • Call 911 in an emergency.


  • Please make your follow-up appointment by calling the office or as instructed by your physician. Most appointments are for 7-14 days following your surgery. If you have any problems before then, do not hesitate to call.

General Surgery Pre-Operative Instructions

The following instructions are provided to help you understand and prepare for your upcoming surgery. This information may not answer all of your questions about your upcoming operation, so feel free to ask your doctor or nurse.

Surgery Scheduling

  • Your physician will begin the scheduling process with the hospital.
  • A representative from EJGH will verify your records and make an appointment for your pre-surgical evaluation.
  • Your pre-surgical evaluation may either take place in person or by phone, depending on your physician's orders. Any pre-operative testing will be ordered during your evaluation.
  • If you have not been reached by phone and your surgery is scheduled to occur within the next 48 hours, please call (504) 503-5445 between 7:30am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.


  • Your medications will be discussed in detail during your pre-admission interview.
  • Please make sure the nurse knows about any prescription medicines, non-prescription medicines, vitamins, herbs, or supplements you may be taking.
    • Please bring all bottles of prescription and non-prescription items to your pre-admission interview and the day of surgery.
  • Some medicine such as aspirin, aspirin containing compounds, Coumadin, Pradaxa or Plavix impair the body's ability to form a clot and stop bleeding. Based on your needs, specific details on these medications will be discussed at the time of your interview.
  • You will be instructed on what medicines you should and should not take in the days leading up to your surgery and on the morning of the surgery itself.
  • If you have diabetes and take insulin or another diabetes medicine, instructions will be provided on how to adjust your medicine on the day of surgery when you will not be eating.
  • Certain surgeries require a bowel cleanout. If you have been given a bowel prep sheet, please follow the directions.

The Day Before Surgery

  • Please contact your surgeon's office to validate your arrival time.
  • Please follow the shower guidelines that have been provided.
  • Do not shave near your surgical site. Shaving can irritate your skin, which may lead to infection.
  • Do not smoke on the day before surgery. This is irritating for your lungs.
  • Do not eat any solid food or drink any liquids as instructed at the time of your interview. This includes water, candy, and chewing gum.

The Day of Surgery

  • If you've been asked to take routine or other medicines on the morning of surgery, please take them with a very small sip of water.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing and flat shoes.
  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home. If you wear contact lenses, please bring your glasses with you. Please remove any body piercings.
  • Please arrive at the hospital at the specified time.
  • Because of urgent cases, there may be a delay in the start of your surgery or, your start time could be earlier than expected if last minute cancellations occur. If possible, bring something to read and arrive early.
  • If you receive general anesthesia, you will be taken to the Recovery Room for approximately one hour after your procedure.
  • If you are going to be discharged from the hospital after surgery, you will be allowed to go home when you are fully alert.
  • A nurse will review your post-operative instructions and prepare you for discharges from the hospital.
  • You will not be allowed to drive yourself home. Please make arrangements for someone to take you home.

Trilogy Stereotactic System

New Hope in the Treatment of Brain, Spine and Prostate Tumors

The Trilogy system delivers radiation therapy to aggressively shrink tumors in the brain, spine and prostate. Using the most advanced diagnostic imaging technology to create a three dimensional image of your tumor, Trilogy creates a radiation beam that is precisely shaped to match the tumor. Healthy tissue is spared as the targeted radiation destroys the cancerous cells, giving physicians greater treatment accuracy and the flexibility to change treatment as your tumor shrinks. The end result is individualized cancer care for you.

What is Trilogy?

Radiation-based technology used to battle cancer in various areas of the body. One of the most advanced pieces of equipment on the market, Trilogy can deliver targeted doses of radiation to specific areas or tumors. Non-invasive way to fight cancer.

Advantages of Trilogy:

  • Painlessly delivers radiation. After you are positioned, it feels no different than an x-ray.
  • Diagnostic tools, such as MRI, Pet Scan and CT, are used to locate, measure and shape the tumor. Using state-of-the-art software, your tumor will be created on the computer so that the beam of radiation can be exactly shaped to match your tumor.
  • When delivering your sized and shaped beam of radiation, it is aimed precisely at your tumor. Because the beam matches your tumor, very little healthy tissue is damaged. As the tumor shrinks, the beam adjusts accordingly. Also, Trilogy gives flexibility to deliver the beam from different angles.
  • Done on an outpatient basis.
  • Can deliver full dose of radiation instead of the need for multiple treatments.
  • Return home and resume normal activities sooner.

Trilogy – fewer treatments, better outcomes, faster recovery. Yet another example of EJGH providing care that is second to none.

Minimally and Non-invasive Procedures

East Jefferson General Hospital combines the exceptional skills of our surgical teams with the latest innovations in surgical technology. As pioneers in robotics and radiosurgery, EJGH offers more options for minimally and non-invasive procedures than ever before. What does that mean for our patients? It means they are able to get back to their jobs, families and regular routines faster than ever.

Click below for more information on:

Yttrium Micro Embolization

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 19,000 new cases of primary liver cancer will be diagnosed in the US in 2004 and that more than 14,000 will die from the disease. Unlike most other cancers, the number of liver cancers is rising.

The Radiology and Radiation Oncology departments at EJGH have joined forces to offer a new treatment for patients with primary and metastatic liver cancer. It offers not only a new therapy option, but also a less invasive procedure with fewer side effects.

This cutting edge procedure, called Yttrium Microsphere Embolization, uses tiny particles injected directly into the blood supply of a liver tumor. The particles, or microspheres, are impregnated with a radioactive compound that delivers radiation to malignant cells while reducing damage to surrounding healthy tissue compared to other forms of radiation therapy. In addition, the microspheres block blood flow to the tumor, starving it of the nutrients it needs to grow.

Before a patient undergoes Yttrium Microsphere Embolization, an arteriogram is performed. This radiologic exam uses an injected dye to visualize the blood vessels surrounding the tumor. The results of the arteriogram are used to determine if the patient is a good candidate, and to provide a map of the vessels that will be used to deliver the microspheres.

The procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist via a catheter inserted through an artery. The catheter is guided through the body and into the liver through the hepatic artery, the main vessel carrying blood into the liver. From the hepatic artery, the microspheres are injected and travel with the normal flow of blood to reach the capillaries that supply the cancer.

The procedure is being used for patients whose tumors cannot be removed surgically or have not responded to other treatments. Liver cancer is difficult to treat because liver tumors have unpredictable growth patterns and symptoms often appear only when the cancer is in advanced stages. Also, many patients diagnosed with liver cancer have Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or cirrhosis. These conditions make surgery difficult because patients may have very little healthy liver tissue left.

Because it is minimally invasive, it presents fewer risks, such as infection and complications from anesthesia, than traditional open surgery. Most patients who undergo Yttrium Microsphere Embolization can return home on the day of their procedure.

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