Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
You should expect to have some pain at first. Nurses will provide pain medicine as needed.
You likely will wear compression stockings or compression boots to reduce the chance of blood clots
developing in the legs.
Hospital room: Once you return to your hospital room, nurses will check your vital signs and help with pain control.
Depending on the surgeon's preferences and your needs, you may be given pain medicine orally or by IV injection.
The medication will not make you pain free, but it should make the pain tolerable.
Sometimes the surgeon will give you a machine that allows you to provide pain medicine as needed, within certain limits. Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps allow you a little more control over managing your pain.
Walking: Usually you will begin to walk within hours of the surgery. To avoid loss of air in a lung or pneumonia, you may be asked to do a variety of breathing exercises.
Protection while moving: A few simple techniques will help reduce postsurgical pain and injury. The goal is to protect your back.
Tighten your abdominal muscles to help support your spine. Stand up straight, keeping your ears, shoulders, and hips in a straight line.
Always bend at the hip and not at the waist. Move your body as a unit and do not twist at the hips or shoulders.
Sleeping and getting in and out of bed: You may have difficulty sleeping for the first few nights, especially if the recommended positions are different from your normal sleeping positions. Some options include the following:
Sleep on your back with pillows under your neck and your knees.
Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent and a pillow between your knees.
Getting out of bed also can be tricky initially, but with some simple techniques, you can minimize possible injury or pain.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and roll on to your side, making sure to move your body as a unit.
Scoot to the edge of the bed and press down with your arms to raise your body. As you raise your body, gently swing your legs to the floor.
Place one foot behind the other, tighten your abdominal muscles, and raise your body with your legs.
To get into bed, back up to the edge of the bed, tighten your abdominal muscles, and lower yourself into bed with your legs.
Once sitting on the bed, use your arms to lower your body onto the bed while you lift your feet into bed.