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Colorectal – Bowel and rectal resections

Before Surgery

Before your surgery, you may be invited to a clinic appointment on a Tuesday morning, depending on the surgery you are having. Alternatively, you will be given an information pack to read at home. The information pack will provide you with:

  • A booklet explaining your impending surgery and what to expect
  • Information on the importance of playing an active role in your own recovery with the support of healthcare professionals
  • Information on fitness for your surgery including diet, smoking, cessation, alcohol reduction, infections, exercise and more
  • Practical information to help your recovery including planning for going home before you come in

Click here to download our information booklet for Colorectal – Bowel and rectal resections.

Information videos

Enhanced Recovery is a modern, evidence based approach that can help people to recover more quickly after surgery.

In the sections below, you will find a selection of videos which aim to ensure you know what to expect and are prepared for your surgery. This will help to enable you to make a speedy recovery and safely return to the activities you enjoy. It is essential that you play an active role in your care, to achieve the best possible outcome after your operation.

We strongly encourage you to view these videos in plenty of time before your surgery. You can view each video as many times as necessary and if you need clarification or have questions for which you are unable to find the answers, please do not hesitate to ask anybody in the ERAS team.

Introduction to the Enhanced Recovery programme – Irene Fitt, Clinical Lead

Incentive Spirometry

Chest complications such as pneumonia can be a risk after surgery.  We have introduced Incentive Spirometry as part of our Enhanced Recovery (ERAS) Programme to try to reduce that risk and help you to recover better.  You should have been given a spirometer and an information at your pre-assessment appointment to practice before your surgery.  If you have not, the ERAS nurse or ward nurse will give you one after your surgery.  Please watch this short video on how to use your spirometer.

After surgery

“You are the most important person in your own recovery!”

Following your surgery please start working with your ERAS information pack. The Enhanced Recovery booklet, information sheet and goal chart are particularly useful to enable you to guide your own progress as well as to prompt you. Start working with your goal chart as soon as you return to the ward – please ask a member of staff to help get this our of your bag.

Now that the surgery is done, here are some key things to remember: 

  1. Walking is really important! Walking helps to reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), chest infections, helps your bowel to start working and generally makes you feel better and more like yourself. You should avoid laying in bed for extended periods of time.
  2. Get dressed in your normal everyday clothing from the day after your surgery. This is shown to help motivate and improve overall wellbeing, and prevents PJ Paralysis. Remember to bring a set of clothes into hospital with you, we like to avoid hospital gowns where possible.
  3. Eat well to aid your recovery. A well-balanced diet is very important to help your body to repair after surgery. Foods containing protein are particularly good in helping to heal wounds and repair the body.
  4. Pain delays the healing process! We do what we can to ensure your pain is well-managed after your surgery. If you are unable to do things such as cough, inhale deeply and walk because of discomfort and pain, you will be at a higher risk of developing post-operative complications like DVT, chest infection and sluggish bowel, amongst other things. Please let somebody know if your pain is preventing  you from doing any of the things mentioned previously, as your nurse may be able to provide you with additional pain relief.

Your discharge

When can you go home? 

Once the following discharge criteria is achieved, you can be discharged home. The criteria is listed on the back of your ERAS goal chart. Please tick each item off of the list as you achieve the criteria, to allow you to monitor your progress.

Your discharge will be led by the nursing and therapy staff. If you are discharged before 7 days and you live within the catchment area of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, you will be under the care of the Hospital at Home team of Nurses and Physiotherapists. Visits will begin the day after your discharge between 08:00 and 18:30.