What to do after surgery

After your operation, you will be allowed home with your arm in a sling. This is essential to reduce the risk of swelling, which can cause stiffness, bleeding, delayed wound healing and infection. A sling should be worn for a minimum of 48 hours after the simplest of surgical procedures, and often longer if surgery was more complicated.

Regular pain relief should be taken for 48 hours after surgery, but can then be reduced and taken on demand as required. Many simple painkillers are available at your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist can give you advice about this.

If you notice bleeding through, or increasing tightness of, your dressings, you should contact the hospital that treated you for advice. Similarly, advice should be sought if the pain is increasing in severity on the 3rd or 4th day after surgery, or later.

You will be given advice on what activities you should, and should not, perform, and when it will be safe for you to return to driving and work.

You will also be given instructions about any appointments for dressing changes, suture removal, x-rays, physiotherapy or occupational therapy.

Your surgeon will either arrange to see you again in an out-patient clinic, or will give you a letter for your family doctor to explain any further care that may be needed.