All patients are reminded of the importance of keeping hydrated before and after their surgery, but it’s important to advise how much and when to intake those liquids.
After surgery patients will feel with a very dry mouth, after all, they have been fasting for several hours, but it doesn’t mean that they should drink a bottle in a minute. Instead, we give patients liquids in 2 forms: ice cubes and small (8 oz) water bottles.
What to do
The ice cubes are an excellent way to keep patients hydrated and to rationalize the amount of water intake. By giving a patient an ice cube, and just letting it melt in his or her mouth, it’s a very small but very important amount of water that the patient drinks. If a patient intakes too much liquids, too fast, their stomach is very susceptible to inflammation in the first few hours, leading to extreme discomfort and even vomiting.
After tolerating ice cubes, the next step is to start with small water bottles, and start educating the patient on the amount of water to be taken with each sip of the bottle. It’s a very critical step, due to the fact that most people have the tendency to intake water in enormous gulps, and think that a lot of water at a time is good. So by teaching about the correct amount of water intake, we can prevent for the most cases any problems with inflammation that can lead to a difficult recovery process, more medication and a prolonged hospital stay.
In a world where the mentality of “more is better”, patients after Gastric Sleeve Surgery benefit from the idea of “Slower is faster” as in slower intake equals faster recovery.