Discharge and recovering at home


It is expected that you would have been advised of your likely discharge date at your pre-operative appointment, the actual discharge date as you will have read may be a day or so either side of this date depending upon the operation you had, your general health as well as how you responded to surgery.

You will know when you are ready for discharge by answering the 3 key questions (mobilising with simple analgesia, eating and drinking and self caring with washing and toilet) positively. When this happens the nursing staff will advise you of the likely time that you will be ready to be collected by your relatives / carer. In some circumstances it may be appropriate for you to move from the ward to the discharge lounge to be collected ( especially if there is likely to be a long delay)

Before you leave the ward, the nursing staff will check a telephone contact number for you and arrange a suitable time for them to contact you in the next few days to ensure that your recovery is continuing at home and that you have no concerns.

The nursing staff will also ensure that you have all the necessary medication (including blood thinning injections if appropriate) as well as any equipment needed for stitch or clip removal( again if appropriate). The nursing staff will already have made arrangement with community nurses if further care is required at home.

If you required social / carer support prior to your admission the nursing staff will have already ensured that this is in place to restart on your discharge.

Recovering at Home

Once you are home you will find that you will be better able to sleep in your own bed. We would hope that the preparations you have made before surgery will mean a quicker and less stressful recovery until you are back to full fitness.

We would expect the same principles that you experienced on the ward to apply and we would not expect you to return to bed and would encourage you to mobilise more and more each day.

However you will feel tired easily and we would suggest that you arrange with your family and friends a time of the day (usually a couple of hours in the afternoon where you won't be disturbed and can have some rest

You will have been discharged the anti- clotting stockings and we encourage you to wear these for at least a week after your surgery. The stockings can be cleaned in your washing machine and we would recommend them to be washed every 3 days unless more frequent cleaning is required. You will also have been given instructions with regard to your blood thinning injections as well as being taught how to administer these.

Within 72 hours of discharge you will be phoned by a member of the nursing staff from the ward who will check that you are making the expected progress and have no questions or concerns.

Other Issues

- Lifting we would advise no heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks after your operation. If you have small children (or care for Grandchildren) we would suggest you let them climb up on you rather than lift.

- Travel: You are advised to avoid long haul flights for 8 weeks after surgery, if you are planning on long car journeys or shorter flights please check with your GP (or Hospital doctor before discharge)

- Driving: You should not start driving again until your strength is up and the speed of movement is up to coping with an Emergency stop. You must ensure you are not drowsy from prescribed painkillers andmust alwayscheck with your insurance company before driving as your insurance policy may be invalid.

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