General Surgery Advice

What do I need to bring to hospital?

Patients are advised to avoid bringing any valuable personal property such as jewellery into hospital with them. Make sure all your belongings all packed away into a locked cupboard if you have to leave your bedside for any period of time. If you do have any valuable items, ask a relative to take them home where possible or ask a member of staff to send them to the main hospital safe.

Suggestions of what you might want to bring to make your stay more comfortable:

  • Several changes of underwear, a few changes of clothing and shoes.
  • Nightwear, dressing gown and slippers
  • Toiletries: toothpaste and brush, soap, body creams, comb, shower/bath gel, shampoo, deodorant, make-up, shaving things and aftershave, tissues, wet wipes
  • Towels
  • Diary, notebook, writing materials
  • A non-valuable watch
  • Telephone numbers, address book, mobile phone and charger (for use off the ward)
  • Snack food,
  • Books, magazines
  • Mug and own supply of preferred tea or coffee, powdered milk
  • Family photos
  • Bedside clock/personal stereo/radio with headphones, batteries
  • Ear plugs
  • A small amount of money in case you want to purchase something from the trolley or from our snack shop.

When can I go home after surgery?

There are a numbers of factors that will help your consultant decide whether or not you are well enough to go home after surgery. Firstly there should be adequate support at home; you need to be physically stable, with a controlled heart rate and blood pressure, and without other complicating factors.

Patients should also be adequately mobile meaning you should be able to climb a couple of flights of stairs with reasonable ease. Your wounds need to be healing satisfactorily or should at least be able to be cared for by a district nurse on a daily basis in the rare case of a significant wound problem.

When can I drive after having my Pacemaker?

The DVLA restricts driving for 1 week following a pacemaker insertion as long as there are no other co-factors restricting your driving.

This also applies to “box change” patients who have had another pacemaker following battery run down.

The DVLA must be informed of pacemaker implantation.

When can I drive after having an ICD?

The DVLA restricts driving for 6 months following an ICD implantation.

If a patient has a shock from the device or symptomatic pacing therapy driving is restricted for a further 6 months.

“Box change” patients who have had another ICD following battery run down are restricted from driving for 1 week.

The DVLA must be informed of your ICD implantation.

When can I drive after having Biventricular Pacemaker?

If the device is a Biventricular pacemaker alone the advice is the same as pacemakers.

If the device is an ICD Biventricular device the advice is the same as ICDs.

Can I go back to work after Surgery?

Most younger patients should be fit to return to work after surgery, and older patients should gain more enjoyment from their activities during retirement. In general terms, patients with a sedentary occupation are ready to return to work by about 6 weeks, those with a more strenuous activity will take up to 3 months.

What activities can I do after Surgery?

Physical activities such as walking are encouraged from the time of discharge. You can begin cycling, yoga etc. approximately four weeks after discharge, so long as you find it relaxing rather than strenuous and build it up slowly, steadily and gradually. You should be able to undertake most light household and gardening activities by about the third or fourth week post discharge. Ask at your 6 week post op check if you can start swimming.

Patients are also encouraged to return to normal patterns of sleeping as soon as possible.

Sexual activity may also continue when both the patient and partner are comfortable with the idea.