After Your Surgery

Look to your helpful Mary Greeley Medical Center team for the personalized care and support you need to heal in the days and weeks after your surgery.

In the Recovery Room

If you received general anesthesia during your procedure, your care team will move you to a recovery room in the hospital. The amount of time it takes for you to recover depends on several factors. Rely on our specially trained staff to monitor you closely and help you feel as comfortable as possible.

Postoperative, Patient-Centered Care

Count on our staff to recommend services and schedule appointments for any follow-up care you need. Because you’re the most important member of your care team, we’ll make sure your postoperative care plan:

  • Allows you to leave the hospital and recover in the comfort of your home as soon as possible
  • Balances rehabilitation services, such as physical and occupational therapy, with enough time for rest
  • Follows the timeline that works best for you
  • Reflects your preferences, goals, and unique health needs

Go to any follow-up visits with your surgeon or other providers, who will check how well you’re healing and answer any questions you have.

Self-Care After Surgery

Before you leave our facility, you’ll receive discharge instructions — information on how to take care of yourself when you go home after your procedure. Follow your care team’s instructions about:

  • How to recover as quickly and safely as possible
  • How to change any dressings or bandages
  • How to prevent infections and keep your incision clean and dry
  • When to contact your doctor
  • What follow-up care you may need

Make sure anyone helping you at home while you recover knows this information, too.

Hygiene at Home

Wash your hands often, especially when changing bandages. Anyone helping you at home should also wash their hands often.

If your care team gave you special soap, use it when you shower. The soap has a chemical called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG), which safely kills germs and reduces the risk of infection.

Tips for Better Healing

Check-In Phone Call

If you go home the same day as your surgery, expect a check-in phone call from our staff the next business day. Share how you’re feeling and get answers to any questions you have about taking care of yourself.

Free Home Health Visit

Depending on what procedure you had and other factors, your care team may recommend a postoperative visit from a home health nurse after you leave the hospital. Your nurse will help you:

  • Understand discharge instructions and how to take your medications
  • Identify safety concerns such as risk of falling or trouble caring for a wound
  • Manage pain or other symptoms

Tell your nurse if you are having trouble moving, bathing, or doing other activities.

Signs of an Infection

A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that happens after surgery in the part of the body the surgery took place. Call your primary care doctor if you have symptoms such as:

  • Fever or chills
  • Pain
  • Pus, discharge, or a bad smell from the wound
  • Redness or warmth

How to Prevent an SSI

Washing your hands often, eating a nutritious diet, and not smoking can help you heal and avoid infection. Talk to your care team about other ways to protect your health.