Recovery after surgery
After every surgery there is a period of recovery. How long this takes will depend on your age, the type of surgery you had, and your overall fitness and health. It may take a few days or a week to recover from a small operation, but it can take a few months for a large procedure.
It’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice, be patient and give yourself time to recover. Some people may need extra support to help them return to their usual day-to-day activities (see Rehabilitation).
Learn more about:
- Hospital recovery room
- Side effects of general anaesthetic
- Hospital ward
- Complications after surgery
- Leaving hospital (discharge)
- Taking care of yourself at home
- What to expect when you return home
- Follow-up appointments
Podcast: Coping with a cancer diagnosis
Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and University of Sydney, NSW; Chanelle Curnuck, Dietitian – Dietetics and Nutrition, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group, WA; Department of Anaesthetics, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Medicine, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Jessica Feeney, Nurse Unit Manager, Breast, Endocrine and Gynaecology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; A/Prof Richard Gallagher, Head and Neck Surgeon, Director of Cancer Services and Head and Neck Cancer Services, St Vincent’s Health Network, NSW; John Leung, Consumer; Rohan Miegel, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer Care, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; A/Prof Nicholas O’Rourke, University of Queensland and Head of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Royal Brisbane Hospital, QLD; Lucy Pollerd, Social Worker, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Suzanne Ryan, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Department of General Surgery, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, QLD; Rebecca Yeoh, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
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