When your surgery’s finished, you’ll be taken to the recovery room or intensive care unit.
Nurses will closely monitor your breathing and vital signs. You’ll have a mask or small tubes in your nostrils giving you extra oxygen.
You may have a drain in the wound attached to a bottle. You may need this for 1 to 2 weeks, so it could still be in place when you go home.
You’ll most likely be fitted with special compression stockings to wear on both legs. The stockings are designed to help reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis. You may also be given blood-thinning drugs to further reduce your risk. The nurses may recommended that you take 5 to 10 deep breaths and hold each one, once every hour to reduce the risk of chest infections. They’ll also encourage you to get up and walk around shortly after surgery.
They may not let you eat for at least 4 hours after general anaesthesia, but this can vary.
Pain is different for each person. Your anaesthetist will prescribe pain medication. If you have a sore throat from the tube used during anaesthesia, throat lozenges may help.
You may have pain around the wound, and in your armpit if lymph nodes have been removed.