Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Discharge after your surgery

Main Content

Your Surgery Journey: Patient Guide

Discharge and home

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Leaving the hospital - discharge

How long you stay in the hospital depends on your surgery and other things related to your health. In most cases, you are ready to go home from the hospital when you can:

  • get out of bed
  • eat food and drink enough fluids
  • control your pain with medicine
  • pass gas and urinate (“pee”)
  • manage your new care needs such as getting injections or taking care of a catheter or ostomy as needed

Before you go home:

  • get written instructions for your discharge from the hospital
  • get prescriptions for all of the medicines you need
  • ask your healthcare team questions about what to watch out for and what activities you can do at home
  • have your support team (family and friends) ready to help you 
  • talk to your healthcare team if you have concerns about coping at home

At home

You may need some help once you are home. Sometimes this is just for a day or 2, sometimes it can be longer depending on the type of surgery you had. It may take up to a few months before you fully recover or are back to all of your usual activities. Talk to your healthcare team if you have any concerns about your recovery.

Your ERAS Care Pathway doesn't stop when you leave the hospital. To help your recovery at home:

  • ​​Slowly get more active.
  • Eat healthy and ​drink fluids as you did before surgery (unless your healthcare team gives you other instructions).
  • Drink nutritional supplements (like Ensure Protein Max or Boost High Protein) for the first month after surgery to give you extra protein and help you heal faster.
  • Take less pain medicine as your pain gets better.
  • Follow the instructions carefully about taking your blood thinner and other medicines.​

Current as of: October 7, 2022

Author: Surgery Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services