It is good to plan on a 7 to 10 day stay at the hospital, although some patients stay only 5 days.  You will need the time. 

Let family and friends know that you will be very medicated the first few days after surgery so you will do lots of sleeping and might not be ready for more than a few visitors.

 Leave home your favorite jammies or gown because the medical staff will insist you wear what they have....ugly but functional.  You will have tubes and an IV connected to you and the night clothes with the snaps works best when the staff has to manage your care.

 Do take something that will offer you comfort - favorite teddy bear, music, etc.

Cell phones sometimes do not work well due to all the hospital equipment, but be very cautions using the hospital bed side phone.  One friend used the phone without realizing the calls outside of the immediate area were long distance and she found she has a $120 phone bill added to her hospital bill which was not covered by insurance. 

You may want to bring one of your favorite pillows.  It may help you to sleep better and also you can use it to hold in front of your tummy if you should find yourself coughing.  Your abdomen is going to be very tender and coughing can then sometimes result in pain. 

Pack some loose fitting and comfy boxers or other type of shorts to wear on the trip home.  You will most likely be leaving with at least one tube attached for a Foley catheter and your abdomen will be tender and somewhat swollen so you won't want to wear anything restrictive. 

 Have someone bring a pillow with them for the ride home when you are ready to be discharged.  The pillow will be needed to protect you against the hardness of the seat belt and make your ride home easier. 

Finally, take with you to the hospital the best possible attitude you can muster up.  Believe you are doing what is necessary for your health, and believe you will be OK.  In most hospitals, you can ask the staff to put you on a list for one of the chaplains to visit with you.  Sometimes we need that extra encouragement and support after we come out of the surgical fog.  . 

Preparing for your Hospital Stay