Patient Guidelines Following a General Anaesthetic

Patient Guidelines Following a General Anaesthetic

Patient Guidelines following a General Anaesthetic

Logical thinking and co-ordination may be disturbed due to the effects of the anaesthetic. It is IMPORTANT that a responsible adult looks after you for at least the first 24 hours.

It is also IMPORTANT that you follow the following guidelines for 24 hours after your operation.

  • You must not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • You must not sign important documents or make important decisions.
  • You must not drive.
  • You should not operate any dangerous appliances or machinery

Further Information

If you require further information following your surgery please contact The Day Surgery Centre or the 23-Hour Ward at WarwickHospital who will be happy to help:

The Day Surgery Centre

is open from Monday to Friday

8.00 am to 8.00 pm

Telephone Number –

01926 495321 ext.4342

The 23-Hour Ward

Is open from Monday 9.00 am to Saturday 12.00 m.d.

Telephone Number

01926 495321 ext. 8147


Lakin Road

Warwick CV34 5BW

Fax 01926 482603

Hernia Repair/2008

Version 2

 2008 South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

Patient Information


Post Operative Advice Following Your

Hernia Repair Surgery

SW - 00114

Pain Relief

During your operation, local anaesthetic may have been injected into your wound to relieve pain. When this starts to wear off you may experience discomfort. Please take your pain relieving tablets regularly - this helps to ensure good pain control.


Your wound may ooze a small amount of blood during the next 24 hours – this is nothing to worry about. But if there is a lot of bleeding or your wound becomes swollen, you should apply pressure to the area and seek medical advice.

In male patients, it is likely that the penis and scrotum will discolour due to bruising; this may last for up to two weeks following your surgery.

Wound care

Your wound may be closed with dissolving stitches – it can take about 10 days to heal.

If your wound is closed using stitches orclips these will need to be removed by your practice nurse. You will be advised when your stitches/clips need to be removed.


After 48 hours you can remove the dressing over your wound and bath or shower as normal. Following your bath/shower you may leave your wound exposed but if you prefer you can apply a clean dressing after carefully drying the area with a clean towel. A wet dressing should not be left covering a wound as it may increase the risk of infection.

If you have any concerns or are unable to manage the wound care yourself you should book an appointment with your practice nurse to have the dressing removed and your wound checked.


After your hernia surgery the risk of constipation is increased because you may not be as active as usual and it is often a side effect of your pain relieving tablets. Constipation may lead to straining and this may cause discomfort and delay healing.

To reduce the risk of constipation you should eat a varied diet that includes high fibre foods, fruit and vegetables. Drinking two to three litres of water a day will also be helpful.

If you do become constipated you should seek advice from your pharmacist.

Following your operation

If you feel the need to cough, bend your knees up, support your stitches and try and produce a good strong cough.

You are unlikely to damage your stitches by coughing, sneezing or moving around, but it may be painful and supporting your wound when coughing may help reduce the discomfort.


To avoid recurrence of your hernia it is essential that you learn to lift correctly. You should not lift anything heavy for 6 weeks following your operation. Ask your doctor’s advice if you are in any doubt as to how much you can do.


Initially when you go home it is important to remain active. Walk for short distances, and gradually increase your mobility.

Over the first 3 weeks, gradually increase your activities to include all aspects of daily living including sexual activity. During the second 3 weeks attempt more strenuous exercise so that by 6 weeks you are as fit, if not fitter, than before surgery.


You should not drive until you can safely perform an emergency stop. This may be up to two weeks after your surgery. If you are in any doubt contact your insurance provider for advice.

Time off work

You will be given advice about this in the Day Surgery Centre and a medical certificate supplied if requested.

Further appointments

Before leaving the Day Surgery Centre, a member of staff will advise you of any further appointments with the surgeon. If you do not receive confirmation of this appointment in the post please ring the call centre on 01926 600 006

As a key provider of healthcare and as an employer, the Trust has a statutory obligation to promote and respect equality and human rights. This is set out in various pieces of legislation including: Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Disability Discrimination Act (2005), Sex Discrimination Act (1975) and the Age Discrimination Act (2006)
Our information for patients can also be made available in other languages, Braille, audio tape, disc or in large print.
We offer a Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS). This is a confidential service for families to help with any questions or concerns about local health services.
You can contact the service by the direct telephone line on 01926 600 054 or using the phone links which are available in both hospitals or calling in at the office located in the main entrance at WarwickHospital.