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19

Patient information

You will be given a letter for your GP to

take home with you. Your Consultant will

also write to your GP.

If you have had a general anaesthetic, you

will be given a patient information sheet

on what to expect over the next few days,

and you will be given written information

relating to your procedure and recovery.

If you or a relative have any questions

before you leave, please ensure you speak

to a member of the nursing staff.

When you get home

Advice for patients

• You may feel tired, so only do as much

as you feel able

• Do not operate machinery or drive

a car for 24-48 hours after a general

anaesthetic

• Drink plenty of fluids and eat light

meals but do not drink any alcohol

for at least 24 hours

• Please follow any specific advice

from the nursing and medical staff

when taking prescribed medication,

including painkillers

• Try to arrange help with bathing or

showering, as you may feel light-headed

when getting out of the bath or unsteady

on your feet in the shower for the first

24 hours

• Do not make any important decisions or

sign any contracts for at least 24 hours after

having a general anaesthetic or sedation

After 24-48 hours you should be feeling

considerably better and will need less

support and help.

Advice for carers

• Help with household activities such

as cooking and cleaning

• Offer plenty of fluids to drink

(not alcohol)

• Help with washing/bathing and

getting dressed

• Ensure painkillers are taken as

prescribed/advised

• Ensure that you and the patient are aware

of the common complications following

surgery and what to do if they occur, such

as bleeding, oozing, pain, redness, signs

of infection, swelling and temperature

• If you are helping to care for the wound

to minimise the risk of infection, please

ensure that you wash your hands with

soap and water and use a clean towel to

dry them before any contact with the site/

dressing and again following completion

of the task. Please ensure that the dressing

is done in an area away from open

windows and any pets that may be in the

home. If you notice any signs of infection,

please contact the ward for advice – signs

of infection are temperature, redness,

swelling, oozing and pain.

Queries and concerns

If you have any problems you wish

to discuss following your operation,

procedure or treatment, please phone

the number provided on your discharge

information. Alternatively, please call

020 7407 3100

and ask to speak to the

duty manager, who will be able to help.

If you feel you need to be seen by a

doctor in an emergency related to

your hospital stay, please contact your

Consultant, GP or go to your nearest

Accident and Emergency Department.