After discharge

You must have a responsible adult to escort you home and to stay with you for at least 24 hours after a general anaesthetic or 12 hours after sedation.

After an anaesthetic your reflexes, your sense of balance and your judgment will take time to return to normal. The following information is essential:

You must not:
  • drive a car or motorcycle or ride a bicycle
  • drink alcohol or take any other medicines or drugs not prescribed by your doctor
  • operate machinery, including kitchen equipment (eg a cooker or a kettle)
  • make important decisions or sign any documents
  • be the only adult responsible for small children or other dependants.

Please take your usual medication as directed. If you have diabetes, you will have been given special instructions for your diabetes medication, which you must follow.

  • Taking your painkillers at regular times will give you better pain control, rather than waiting for the pain to become worse and then needing stronger medication
  • When you go home you will be given a combination of medicines. It is best to take these regularly at first to enable you to move around more easily.
Wound care and resuming normal activities

Your surgeon or the Day Treatment Centre staff will tell you how to look after your wound and about your dressings. There is also information about wound care, when you can bathe or shower and getting back to normal activities included in the information leaflet you were given in clinic or at pre-assessment.

Before you leave, staff will let you know what arrangements have been made for dressing renewal and suture removal, if required.

The most common side effects after any operation include:
  • Feeling sick. This is usually temporary. Try resting quietly. Sometimes concentrating on something else (like television) can help. Eat and drink small amounts often. If you are unable to drink for more than a couple of hours, you may need to seek further advice (see below)

  • Sore throat. During the operation, a tube may have been inserted in your throat to help you to breathe and which may give you a sore throat. This can last a few days but can be eased with simple painkillers and cold drinks

  • Bruising around the drip site. This will gradually fade after two weeks

  • Light-headedness. A general anaesthetic works by suppressing the level of consciousness, so it is not surprising that after an operation you may sometimes experience one or more of the following symptoms: tiredness, dizziness, blurred vision, headache or lack of mental sharpness. These are almost always temporary. Elderly patients occasionally experience some confusion and memory loss, which is also usually temporary.
If you are concerned or have questions, please phone:

Day Treatment Centre Reception: 020 7288 3824 (Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 8pm)

Out of hours: 020 7288 5445
Last updated28 Apr 2008
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