Know what to expect when you go home after your surgery.

Whether you go home a few hours or several days after your surgery, you will be given instructions on how to take care of yourself when you go home (discharge instructions).

Your health care team will explain everything you need to know or do when you leave the hospital. Remember, if you do not speak or understand English very well, it is good to have a family member or support person who can help translate for you. The health care team can also make arrangement for an interpreter if you do not have a family member or support person available. 

It is particularly important for you to ask the surgeon or nurse what signs or symptoms you might expect, what is normal, what is cause for concern, and what you should do if you are concerned.

Your family doctor will receive reports from the surgeon so they are aware of your condition and can provide appropriate ongoing care.

Important information

Be aware that anaesthetic drugs may stay in the body for up to 24 hours and you will be impaired during this period.

Do not:

  • Go to work or do business.
  • Make significant decisions of any kind.
  • Drive a car or work with machinery.
  • Travel alone by public transportation.
  • Do any strenuous activities.
  • Drink alcohol.
  • Take tranquilizers, sedatives, or sleeping pills.
  • Care for another person such as babies, small children, elderly person who needs help.


  • Carry a list of your current medications with you at all times. Share this list with your doctors, pharmacists, and other caregivers to help them provide you with the best care.

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    Updated 23/07/2018

Frequently asked questions

Understand more about your surgery by visiting our frequently asked questions section.