Getting back to normal - Having an operation (surgery)

Don't 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 more healthily, start exercising to stay in shape, and stop 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 deep vein thrombosis. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

Recovery

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 if there's a Get Well Soon leaflet for your particular operation.

These are guides produced by the Royal College of Surgeons with detailed information on recovering from various procedures.

Feedback

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: 07/02/2018
Next review due: 07/02/2021