After Discharge

Information and advice regarding your recovery following surgery. Since no two people are alike, the information and advice is very general.

You are encouraged to telephone us at any time if you require more information or are concerned about your recovery.

If you have a clinical issue you need to discuss post your procedure, please contact a nurse, between Monday to Friday 08:00 - 17:00 on 01392 363 534. 

If it is after 17:00 or over a weekend, please contact Mount Stuart Hospital, Torquay, TQ1 4UP on 01803 321 623.


You may feel tired and insecure when you first go home. You may also be frustrated by being unable to do all you would like to do. These reactions are quite normal. It often helps to make a plan for yourself, gradually increasing your activities. It is also useful to plan a rest period during the day.


If required, a supply of pain relieving tablets will be given to you prior to leaving the hospital or treatment centre. Pain killers are more useful if taken regularly but remember not to exceed the stated doses.

Avoiding Blood Clots

Depending on your procedure you may be sent home with ‘TED’ stockings and if necessary a course of anti coagulation medicine. You may also be advised to mobilise as soon as possible. It is important that you do wear your TED stockings and follow instructions to reduce the risk of developing a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). Advice is given at pre-assessment but we will also give you a patient information booklet on discharge unless you already have one.


Taking your regular pain killer at bedtime will often be helpful in providing a comfortable nights sleep.

Bathing and Showering

You will be advised about bathing and showering before you go home.

Wound Healing

You may experience some changes in your wound area during the normal healing process. These may include: tingling, numbness, itching, lumpiness and slight pulling around the stitches.

If you experience increased wound pain, increased redness or swelling, or your wound begins to discharge, please contact the nursing staff at the hospital or treatment centre, or your GP.


You may find you appetite is suppressed for a few days but this should return to normal. Unless you have been advised otherwise, your diet should be healthy and well balanced.


Irregular bowel habits may occur as a result of change in diet, lack of activity, and the use of some drugs. A normal diet with fruit and vegetables and plenty of water should soon put things right.

Following abdominal surgery straining may be uncomfortable and a mild laxative might be helpful; your consultant will advise you if this is necessary.

Household Jobs

After being discharged from your hospital or treatment centre (depending on your surgery), you may need to enlist some help with jobs involving bending, stretching, lifting or vacuum cleaning for the first four weeks. Try to sit when undertaking activities such as ironing or washing up.


The length of time away from driving varies enormously depending upon the surgery you have had. You must be able to cope with the twisting and turning of normal driving as well as being able to perform a safe emergency stop. Start with short accompanied journeys and build up gradually. It is wise to check with your car insurance company that you are covered. Do not drive within the first 48 hours following anaesthetic.


Your consultant will advise you on the time to return to work. It depends on the type of operation you have and the type of work you do. Many people feel tired and lack concentration to start with, so it is better to feel completely well before going back to work.

Further Information

If you require more information please telephone the hospital or treatment centre

Please click here to download this information and going home checklist.


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