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Getting back to normal - Having an operation (surgery)

Do not be surprised if you feel very tired when you get home, especially if you have had a major operation or a general anaesthetic.

You should only do as much as you feel able to in the days after your operation.

But it's important to try to move around as soon as possible and follow your doctor's advice on getting active again.

This will encourage your blood to flow and your wounds to heal, and will build up strength in your muscles.

Generally, try to get back into your regular routine as soon as possible.

Use this as an opportunity to make a fresh start: to eat well, exercise to stay in shape, and quit smoking if you smoke.

If you have a dressing on the area operated on, follow the instructions your nurse gave you to care for your wound at home.

How to tell if you might have a blood clot

Signs to look out for after your operation include:

  • pain or swelling in your leg
  • the skin of your leg feeling hot or discoloured
  • the veins near the surface of your leg appearing larger than normal

Read more about the symptoms of DVT (deep vein thrombosis). If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.


Your doctor will have given you an idea of how long it'll take to get back to normal.

The following links provide information and advice about recovering from specific procedures:

You can also check the Royal College of Surgeons England website, which has detailed information leaflets on recovering from various procedures.


If you want to let others know about the care you received, you can find your hospital and leave a review or rating.

Page last reviewed: 03 September 2021
Next review due: 03 September 2024