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INTRODUCTION

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Many problems following surgery can be avoided by the preoperative risk assessment and prevention strategies described in Chapter 39. However, despite ideal preparation, complications may still develop, and vigilance for these adverse events can help ensure successful convalescence for most patients.

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POSTOPERATIVE ORDERS

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These written instructions address support of each organ system, while normal function is gradually reestablished. Although orders are customized for each woman, goals are common among all surgical patients—resuscitation, pain control, and resumption of daily activities. Table 42-1 offers a template for both inpatient and outpatient postoperative orders.

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TABLE 42-1Typical Postoperative Orders (Inpatient and Outpatient)
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Fluid and Electrolytes

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Nearly half of the average female body’s weight is water. Two thirds of this water is contained in the intracellular compartment, and the remainder is stored extracellularly. This ...

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