Phone: 973-940-3166
Fax: 973-940-3170
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My loved one is having outpatient surgery. What do I need to know?


While outpatient surgery is generally less serious than surgery that requires a hospital stay, it’s still no walk in the park. If a close friend or family member is having outpatient surgery, they are going to need some support, both emotional and physical.

Outpatient surgery means they will go home the same day that the surgery is performed. It doesn’t mean they will be back to full strength right away though.

The recovery process—and the support they will need—depends on the type of surgery they’re having, but in general, here are some ways you can help.

Go to the surgery center with them.

Having a companion along as they fill out paperwork and wait to be taken into surgery can help keep their spirits up. You can also help them remember recovery instructions that they may be too stressed or groggy after surgery to recall.

Offer to drive them home and stay with them.

If your friend or loved one has had sedation or general anesthesia, they will not be allowed to drive home. They will also need someone to stay with them at all times during the first 24 hours after their release from the surgery center.

Encourage them to take it easy.

Even after the first 24 hours, they will need help. Their recovery will go smoother and more quickly if they’re able to get plenty of rest in the first few days after surgery.

Help out to help them avoid reinjury.

Lots of everyday activities that your loved one takes for granted could cause problems after surgery. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of pets, grocery shopping, and more may be off-limits for a time depending on the surgery.

Your loved one may want to avoid bothering people to help with these chores. Assure them that you want to help and that their injury-free recovery is important. Remind them that they’ve helped people in time of need and will do so again when they’re well, so they need to let others have a chance to be helpers.

Keep them entertained.

If the recovery process is long, your loved one may become bored and frustrated, especially if they’re used to being active. Bring them good books to read, watch movies with them, or just hang out and talk. Encourage their friends to come visit when they’re ready to see people.

Help keep their spirits up.

If a loved one is going through a lengthy and painful recovery, they may get discouraged. Remind them of the reasons for the surgery and that their hard work during recovery will pay off. Brighten their day with a card or flowers.

And remember, if your loved one has any complications or questions after surgery, don’t hesitate to call their doctor. The staff is used to fielding questions and wants the recovery to go as smoothly as possible.

Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey, and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in orthopedics, sports medicine, spinal care, podiatry, urology, pain management, ENT, hand surgery, lithotripsy, brachytherapy, GYN, and laser surgery.

For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit our Contact Page.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.