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Discharge Planning

Discharge planning after surgery

Once you meet the discharge criteria specified for your type of surgery, you will be released to go home or be transferred from the recovery room to a hospital room. Hospitals usually require that you have a responsible friend or family member to drive you home, as coordination and reflexes may be impaired for 24 hours following anesthesia. Your discharge plan may include instructions on how to take care of the wound dressings, what medications to take, what exercises to do, and other home care instructions.

Before you go home, you should be very clear on what your limitations are and whether or not you will need special care, assistance, or equipment following your surgery. Also, be sure to discuss the following items with your doctor:

  • Do I have any special dietary restrictions?

  • How soon before I can resume driving and other routine activities (for example, housework or lawn care)?

  • Who will help me once I get home until normal activities can be resumed?

  • What are special instructions regarding incisional care?

  • How long should I expect pain?

  • Is there any kind of follow-up therapy to this surgery?

  • When should I follow up with your doctor?

  • In what instances should I contact your doctor or nurse or seek immediate medical attention?

  • When can I resume exercise and other more rigorous activities?

  • How soon before I can return to work?