What to Expect

Recovery after surgery depends greatly on the type of surgery that was performed and the underlying cause of the condition. Pain medications may be given to help alleviate the discomfort ranging from mild to severe. Communication with your doctor is important to properly manage your pain level. The following are some of the other possible outcomes that you may be told to expect following surgery:

  • You may need to limit mobility after surgery. Your physician will decide the length of time and the level of activity.
  • There may be some restrictions placed on activities and work after the surgery. This also will be determined by your physician, based on an individual basis.


What to Expect After Outpatient Surgery


Due to advances in surgical procedures and anesthesia, many surgeries performed today allow the patient to recover and go home on the same day. Outpatient surgery, when appropriate, has proven to reduce costs, reduce stress for the patient, speed up the process of healing, reduce the time lost from work and family life and reduce overall costs. Outpatient surgery may also be called same-day surgery, in-and-out surgery, and ambulatory surgery.

Patients who undergo an outpatient procedure should have someone to drive them home and stay with them following the procedure. Most patients are restricted from driving for 24 hours after surgery. Patients often experience drowsiness and minor after-effects, such as muscle aches, sore throat, and occasional dizziness and headaches. Occasionally nausea may also be present. There may also be fatigue and discomfort for a day or two following the surgery. This discomfort varies depending on the type of surgical procedure performed.

Once at home, the patient must be able to tolerate any pain from the procedure, with adequate pain management. Written and verbal instructions for proper pain management will be given and the patient must be able to follow these instructions. A nurse or the physician will generally follow up these instructions to make sure the patient is recovering normally. The patient will also receive telephone numbers to call if there are concerns or emergency help is needed.