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.
Your home-care instructions will include how to take care of your incision. The instructions
- The best way to bathe and protect your wound, such as how
to cover the area if needed and when it is safe to shower and let the incision
- How to care for and change your surgical
- What clothing to wear to avoid rubbing your incision
- What symptoms to look for that may be a problem.
Signs of a skin infection, such as a fever, increased
pain, or increased drainage, need to be checked by your surgeon. Mild swelling
and redness around the incision area is normal after surgery.
Your instructions will include when to have a follow-up appointment with
your surgeon. Your surgeon will want to talk to you before your follow-up
- You aren't sure about your home-care
instructions. Ask right away if you have any questions about wound care or
- You develop a symptom or problem that you don't know how
- You develop an unexpected symptom or
- You aren't able to take your