leaving surgeryAfter Your Surgery

When can I go home?

You will be discharged once the doctor or nurse decides you are fit to go home. You must feel comfortable about going home so if you feel groggy or sick, you don’t have to go home until you feel better.


forgetful patientWhat will I take home with me?

After surgery we will give you an Operation Report and letter from the Bus team that you will need for discharge. If you need to visit your GP, take this with you. The nurse may give you some specialist post-operative instructions and will tell you if you need a follow up appointment.

We may also give you a prescription for medication to take after your surgery. It is important that you get this filled as quickly as possible and follow the instructions closely. If you are unable to get the medication please let the staff know.

The hospital or District Health Board may contact you the following day. A follow-up nurse from Mobile Health will contact you 30 days after your procedure.

Getting home after your operation

Patient in carPlease ensure that you have arranged for someone to drive you home as you are not allowed to drive after anaesthesia or medication. If you live alone you should try to stay with someone overnight, in case you feel unwell. We recommend you have an adult stay with you for 24 hours after surgery.

Taking care after your operation

 Remember that if you have had a general anaesthetic or sedation you MUST NOT operate any machinery, drive or make important decisions or sign legal documents for at least the following 24 hours.

Surgery site

Keep the dressing clean and dry. The amount of bleeding depends on the type of surgery that you have and a small amount of spotting on the dressing is normal. You may change the dressing if you were given spares after your surgery.

If the dressing becomes saturated and you have active bleeding seek medical assistance immediately, either through a GP or emergency care. Apply pressure until you find help.

Keeping the surgery site elevated will decrease swelling and discomfort.

Sick PatientPain Relief

If the nurse has given you a prescription, take it as directed for pain relief. Otherwise, use paracetamol (Panadol/Pamol) to control pain following the directions on the packet.

Take notice of changes

If your operation wound becomes red, swollen, painful or discharges any fluid you must contact your GP immediately. If you start vomiting and can’t stop you must contact your GP immediately.



Take notice of changes


  • Severe pain, increased or excessive swelling.
  • Persistent discharge or excessive bleeding.
  • Progressive heat and redness of the skin around the wound with increased pain and chills or fever.
  • Difficulty moving.
  • Pain, swelling or tenderness in the calf or thigh.