At home after surgery

General information

  • Your complete recovery may take time and varies from person to person.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions for every part of your recovery. You may refer to the written instructions sent home with you.
  • It is important that you get enough rest and exercise. When you feel tired, stop and rest awhile. Be sure to plan regular naps and quiet activities.
  • You may drive when your doctor tells you that you may drive again. You may not be able to drive for several days to several weeks. Ask your doctor when you can drive if this has not been discussed.
  • Ask your doctor when you may return to work or school.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking impairs your body's ability to heal.
  • Be sure to wash your hands before and after handling dressings. Washing your hands helps prevent infections.


How to use canes, crutches and walkers after surgery

After surgery, you will likely need to use equipment to help your recovery or an assistive device to help you move.

video_icon This 12-minute video shows how to safely walk, use stairs and stand with a cane, crutch or walker.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Surgery: What You Need to Know, surg-ah-21686
First Published: 01/15/2011
Last Reviewed: 11/25/2019