After your day surgery

After day surgery you will wake up in the recovery area of the operating theatres. This is known as post op – the period when you are in recovery from anaesthesia, which is the method used to put you to sleep for surgical procedures.

Going home from hospital after day surgery

Once back on the day surgery unit you will be able to have some food and drink. A hospital nurse will decide when you are ready for discharge from hospital and can go home.

If you have a received a form of anaesthetic known as regional block, the hospital nurse will advise on how to care for the affected limb after going home from hospital. This is because sensation and movement in your limb will be altered by the anaesthetic, making you vulnerable to injury. 

Sometimes a day patient will stay overnight. If this is the case, you will be told in advance of your hospital appointment. 

For the first 24 hours after operation, do not:

  • drive
  • operate machinery
  • use a cooker
  • ride a bicycle
  • sign a legal document or engage in any activity requiring skill or judgement
  • take sleeping tablets or drink alcohol

Day surgery procedures: what if medical treatment takes longer than expected?

If your surgery is prolonged or complicated, or there are unexpected problems during surgical procedures, you may need to stay overnight in hospital. This may be in the day surgery unit or another hospital ward. In both cases your escort will have to collect you the day after surgical procedures. Medical staff will contact them if required.

Once a day patient goes home: post operative care

If you are worried about anything, contact your GP for a doctor's appointment or call day surgery. The telephone numbers for day surgery at our three London hospitals are below.

Barnet Hospital: 020 8216 5056
Chase Farm Hospital: 020 8375 1205/1943
Royal Free Hospital: 020 7830 2665

In the unlikely event of an emergency go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department, taking your hospital discharge letter with you.

Useful downloads

Download our discharge advice leaflet for patients having day surgery at Chase Farm Hospital.

You can read our guidance on coming in for day surgery at the Royal Free Hospital here.