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 general health. It may take a few days or a week to recover from a less complex operation, but it can take a few months to recover from major surgery. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice, and try to be patient and allow yourself time to recover.
Learn more about:
- Hospital recovery room
- Hospital ward
- Side effects of general anaesthetic
- Complications after surgery
- Leaving hospital (discharge)
- Taking care of yourself at home
- How to plan for recovery at home
- Follow-up appointments
Prof Andrew Spillane, Surgical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute of Australia, and Professor of Surgical Oncology, The University of Sydney Northern Clinical School, NSW; Lynne Hendrick, Consumer; Judy Holland, Physiotherapist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Kara Hutchinson, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, VIC; A/Prof Declan Murphy, Urologist and Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Prof Stephan Schug, Director of Pain Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, and Chair of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Western Australia Medical School, WA; Dr Emma Secomb, Specialist Surgeon, Hinterland Surgical Centre, QLD. We would like to thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.
Coping with cancer?
Ask a health professional or someone who’s been there, or find a support group or forum
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment