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Surgery: What You Need to Know Online Manual

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Right after surgery

  • After surgery you are taken to the recovery room. You will spend 45 minutes to two hours in a recovery room where nurses will watch you closely. You may stay longer, depending on your surgery and how fast you wake up from the anesthesia.
  • Your nurse will watch all of your vital signs and help you if you have any side effects.
  • You may have some discomfort when you wake up. Your nurse will work with you to make you as comfortable as possible.
  • You may wake up with a dressing, an IV, oxygen, or other monitors and tubes.
  • Your surgeon will talk with your family when your surgery is over.

If you are an inpatient (staying in the hospital overnight), you will be taken to your room. Your family can join you after your time in the recovery room.

If you are an outpatient (returning home the same day as surgery), you will be taken to the recovery area. A family member can join you in this area.

  • You will receive instructions for taking care of yourself at home.
  • You cannot drive for 24 hours or while taking pain medicine. You must have someone drive you home.
  • You will need to have an adult stay with you the first 12 to 24 hours you are at home.

Video series

Pain management

These four videos review pain expectations, rating your pain, pain treatment options and home pain management.

Watch all four modules.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Surgery: What You Need to Know, surg-ahc-21686

First published: 01/15/2011
Last updated: 01/15/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts