1. Keep all follow-up appointments with the doctor. Patients usually see their doctor approximately 1-2 weeks after the surgery to check on recovery and receive the results of any biopsies done. The doctor will go over any additional treatment options available, such as chemotherapy or radiation. The patient will be referred on to a medical oncologist or radiation oncologist as appropriate.
2. After treatment, patients must be monitored for a long time. Initially blood tests and x-rays are done every 2-3 months for the first couple of years. Then visits are 6 months apart until 5 years are completed. After that follow-up appointments are once a year.
3. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each day and exercise moderately starting 2-4 weeks after surgery, such as by walking around the house for 15-30 minutes each day.
4. Avoid lifting heavy objects because this can impact the surgical incision due to increased pressure within the abdomen. Certain intense activities can be started approximately 3 months after surgery. Be sure to check with the doctor first.
5. Follow all instructions of the medical team after being discharged from the hospital and see the doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
· Pain at the surgical site that does not improve after rest or medication.
· Incision is red, swollen, or leaking discharge.
· Uncontrolled bleeding from the incision.
· Pain or tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing, and symptoms worsening with time.
· Inability to eat, weight loss.
· Yellowing of skin or eyes.