About Anesthesia

After My Surgery

What can I expect after my surgery?

Most people will have sleepiness. Plan on resting and gentle walking at home. Your surgeon will provide more detailed instructions for your expected activity level and progression of activity.

Most people will have pain or discomfort. For most patients, this will be present upon discharge from the recovery unit but should be at a reasonable level. You will be provided a prescription for pain pills if your surgeon knows they will be needed. Other patients may not feel any pain until their numbing medicine or nerve block wears off, which could range anywhere from a couple of hours after surgery to a day or two after surgery. Some patients who only had a diagnostic procedure or small surgery may not have any pain at all.

Some people will have nausea or even vomiting after surgery. We try to prevent nausea and vomiting with multiple anti-nausea medicines and treat it in the recovery room if it happens there, but some people may still have these issues at home. Nausea from anesthesia usually gets better in a few hours; however, some people have recurrent nausea that is caused by the surgical procedure or the pain pills taken at home after surgery. Try to avoid taking pills on an empty stomach to prevent this. If you experience significant nausea or vomiting, please contact your surgeon’s office who can provide a prescription for anti-nausea medicines at home. Only rarely does someone have to come back to the hospital for prolonged nausea and vomiting. If you are not able to eat or drink for a prolonged period, contact your surgeon’s office or go to the emergency room, as you may be in need of IV fluids