Your consultant and nursing staff will give you discharge instructions specific to your surgery and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Be sure that you understand everything before you leave the hospital. You will also be provided with written instructions regarding your recovery which you can refer back to once you get home.
Whilst you should always follow the advice given to you by your consultant here are a few general tips intended to help you when you get home:
- When you go home, you will be tired and should rest. You may need some help with shopping and household chores and it may be a good idea to arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you for the first 24 hours – or at least look in on you daily for at least a week.
- Good pain control is important as painkillers work best went preventing pain rather than treating pain once it has occurred. If your pain is under control you will be better equipped to complete activities such as walking or physiotherapy sessions.
- If you have a dressing covering your wound, try to keep it clean and dry or as directed by your consultant or nurse. Should you need to change your dressing you will need to wash and dry your hands thoroughly before and after handling or changing your dressing, as this will reduce the chances of acquiring an infection.
- If your level of activity has been reduced you may lose your appetite. Small regular meals can help until your appetite returns. Good nutrition is essential for your recovery. Eating healthy foods will help you heal and to feel your best. This includes eating: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
- You must adhere to your consultant’s instructions about when you can return to driving following your operation. In order to drive safely you must be able to perform an emergency stop. Any operation that affects your ability to do this, means driving is inadvisable and your insurance cover may be affected.
- Your consultant will advise when you can return to normal activities. We urge you to follow this advice to obtain the best possible surgical outcome.
- If you require a sick note then you will be given one before being discharged from hospital.
- After having a general anaesthetic, it is very important to keep your chest as clear as possible to reduce the chance of a chest infection developing. Before discharge, you will be given advice on ways to do this such as walking regularly, sitting on a chair rather than lying on a bed etc.
- If you have been shown some exercises to do at home we recommend that you continue to do these and follow the rehabilitation advice given by your physiotherapist and consultant.
- If you have been supplied with walking aids and equipment, you should continue to use these as instructed.
Remember, everyone recovers at different rates but if you are worried have any concerns or notice something unusual about your recovery then we are here to advise and support you:
01642 367407 between 08.00-21.00 (Mon-Fri) and 08.00-15.00 (Sat)
01642 367412 between 21.00-08.00 (Mon-Fri) and 15.00-08.00 (Sat) and all day Sunday