After the operation, you may be taken to the recovery room. Recovery staff will be with you at all times, continuing some of the measurements which began before and continued throughout the anaesthetic, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
The recovery staff will also give you further drugs to make you more comfortable (e.g.: painkillers and drugs to relieve nausea and vomiting) if you need them.
When they are satisfied that you have recovered safely from your anaesthetic and are comfortable, you will be taken back to the ward.
Pain Relief Afterwards
Good pain relief is important and helps prevent complications. Some people need more pain relief than others. It is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets bad. Pain relief can be increased, given more often, or given in different combinations.
Occasionally, pain is a warning sign that all is not well, so you should ask for help when you feel pain.
More details can be found in the separate leaflet ‘Post Operative Pain Relief’, which is also available at Pre-op Assessment.
What will I feel like afterwards?
How you feel will depend on the type of anaesthetic and operation you have had, how much pain relieving medicine you need and your general health. Most people feel fine after their operation.
Nonetheless, it is common to experience some less serious side effects (see the section “Side Effects and Complications”).
You may have fewer of these side effects after a local or regional anaesthetic block. Until the block wears off, you will usually feel fine. However, when it has worn off, you may need pain-relieving medicines, which may also have side effects of their own.
More serious complications can happen, however these are uncommon or rare.
How soon will I recover?
Following a general anaesthetic your judgement and reactions may be affected for the first 24 hours. This means that you should not do the following during this time:
- operate machines (including any used in cooking);
- take part in any activities which may be potentially dangerous;
- sign legal documents; or
- drink alcohol.
If you go home the same day, a responsible adult should take you home in a car or taxi and stay with you for at least 24 hours. You should be near a telephone in case you need to call for medical advice or help.