After surgery, you’ll be taken to the recovery area.
Nurses will monitor your breathing and vital signs. Once you’re stable, you’ll either be moved to a ward or allowed to leave, depending on the procedure you’ve had. If you have a drain in your neck, a nurse will take it out before you go home.
If you go home the same day, you’ll need someone to go with you, as you won’t be able to drive or be alone for the first 24 hours after your general anaesthetic.
If you’re staying in hospital, you may 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 recommend that you take 5 to 10 deep breaths and hold each one, once every hour. They’ll also encourage you to get up and walk around shortly after surgery. Walking is the best way to reduce the chance of blood clots in your legs.
You’ll be given pain relief prescribed by your anaesthetist, which you can take regularly or if pain starts to bother you. You may well have a stiff neck and shoulders – turning your head back and forth and rolling your shoulders should help. A sore throat and temporary voice weakness are also very common.