Discharge planning

Discharge planning will begin a few days before you are ready to leave the hospital, especially for those who come from outside the area. Specific instructions will be given to the patient the day of discharge. In general, after pancreatic surgery the patient can be discharged if: 

  • He/she is able to tolerate a solid diet
  • Bowel function is normal
  • Postoperative pain is well controlled with oral analgesics
  • He/she is able to walk and to go up and down the stairs
  • There is no clinical or biochemical evidence of postoperative complications (uneventful course)
  • Postoperative complications resolved (complicated course)  

It is important for the patient and family to discuss the with the hospital staff about expectations regarding how long it will take to recover; about any possible restrictions on the patient’s activities (e.g. lifting, driving a car), and any equipment requirements to assist in the recovery and independence. 

Prescriptions will be given to you before discharge, including medications for pain, medication to help control the secretion of acids created in the stomach and possibly for pancreatic enzyme replacement. The nursing staff will give the patient instructions for heparin shots of – if needed – for insulin administration. To read detailed discharge instructions, click here.

Follow-up visits and post-operative examinations will be planned at the time of discharge. For those patients who underwent a pancreatic resection, pathology results are usually ready in approximately 14 days, and can be given to you before you leave the hospital, if your stay prolongs to two weeks. If not, they will be given to you and discussed at your first post-operative visit. The first appointment, in the surgical clinic, is normally scheduled 2 weeks after leaving hospital to see how well the patient is getting on. 

Afterwards, patients and will follow specific surveillance protocols, according to their disease. Furthermore, patients will be contacted by our medical staff on a regular basis to update our research databases.