If you go home the same day
Relief of any nausea or vomiting is an important
concern. If you will be going home the same day, you will need to drink fluids
without vomiting, be upright without fainting, and urinate on your own before
you will be sent home.
If you go home, the nurse will give you instructions on
breathing and exercises to help prevent any problems. For most minor surgeries,
the nurse will encourage you to be as active as possible to prevent these
Your doctor may give you medicine for pain.
If you stay in the hospital
Pain control remains an important concern after surgery. Inflammation or nerve injury from the surgery can cause pain. Your doctor may give you more than one medicine for pain. Often, opioids are given. In some cases, you may use a pain pump so that it's easy to get pain medicine right when you need it.
Typically, before you go home your doctors and nurses will make sure that:
- You can breathe using your full lung
- You are able to eat.
- Your pain has been controlled so that it doesn't interfere
with your physical activities.
Risks of surgery
The most common
problems after surgery are
pneumonia, bleeding, infection, clotted blood
(hematoma) at the surgery site, and reactions to the anesthesia.
In the first 48 hours after surgery, the most likely risks are bleeding
and problems with your heart or lungs.
From 48 hours to 30 days
after surgery, the most common risks are infection, blood clots, and problems
with other body organs, such as a
urinary tract infection.
Anesthesia side effects
Along with putting you to sleep during surgery, anesthesia can have side effects. Two of the most unpleasant ones are nausea and
While nausea will soon wear off, your constipation can leave you
uncomfortable for several days after your surgery. Your nurses can give you a
medicine to promote bowel movement. But eating may actually be the most
effective means of ending constipation, because food will push waste through
Ready or not?
You may meet most of the criteria to go home but may not be able to
do certain things well enough to go home. In this case, you may go to a type of
assisted-living facility instead of to your home. Nurses and rehabilitation
specialists at an assisted-living facility can help you work toward getting
Home care instructions
You will most likely go home with a sheet of
instructions including whom to contact if you have a problem.
A nurse will go over these instructions with you. He or
she can also help arrange for any care you will need when you go home. This may
include nursing care or visits from other health care workers.
Your instructions will include:
- Which medicines you are
to take and when, including medicines you take regularly.
- The level
of activity that is safe for you to do. For example, the instructions will
likely list when it is okay to drive, how much you can walk each day, how much
weight you can lift, and what other things you can do as you recover. For most
minor surgeries, you will be encouraged to be as active as possible to avoid
- What foods to eat and how your bowel and
urinary habits may be different.
- The use of special equipment, such
as a sling or crutches.