Out-Patient Surgery Planning Checklist
Because a patient can return home a few hours after surgery does not mean that they will be ready to resume normal activities right away. The following are some things that a patient can do before surgery to make the recovery at home easier.
|Be sure someone is available to bring you home after the surgery. Most hospitals will discharge you only into the care of a responsible adult. Your discharge instructions will state clearly that you should not drive or operate any kind of machinery for twenty-four hours after surgery. It is also in your best interest that a responsible adult stay with you, at least during the first day you are at home.|
|Prepare your home for your convalescence. Arrange the things you will need, such as your telephone, lights, and television remote control within easy reach. Be sure that there is a clear path to the bathroom and the kitchen. Try to avoid having to walk up stairs.|
|Stock up on the things you may need. Don't rely on others to get items such as food, books, and videos for you at the last moment.|
|If you have children, arrange for someone else to take care of them. This will be safer and more pleasant for you—and for them—than trying to look after them yourself.|
|Encourage family and friends to help you in concrete ways. For example, they can bring you dinner or perform chores that you can't. But you may want to discourage frequent calls and visits. Rest is important after surgery.|
|Remember that for at least a few days you may find it difficult to perform even the simplest activities, such as bathing or getting dressed without assistance.|
Hill, A.J., MD, PhD. The Patient's Guide to Anesthesia. New York: Kensington, 1999.