Post op

Waking up

When you wake up after your surgery, your back may feel sore and you will probably be attached to one or more tubes, including:

  • an intravenous drip to make sure you do not get dehydrated,
  • a drain to take away any fluid from your wound,
  • a catheter if you are having difficulty urinating, and
  • a pump to deliver painkillers directly into your veins every few hours.
The tubes are only usually attached for a short while after your operation.


Immediately after surgery, you will have some pain in and around the area of your operation. You will be given pain relief to make sure you are comfortable and to help you move. The original pain in the leg usually improves immediately, but if it does not, tell the nurses and your doctor.
A very small number of people experience difficulty passing urine after the operation. This is usually temporary, but in rare cases complications, such as nerve damage, may cause the legs or bladder to stop working properly. It is important to tell your doctor and nurses immediately if you experience problems.
It can take up to six weeks to get over the general pain and tiredness following your operation.


You will have stitches and or clips to repair any cuts or incisions made during your operation. Deep stitches beneath the skin will dissolve and do not need removing. Stitches or clips used on your skin will be removed 7-10 days after your operation. You will be given an appointment to have these removed before you leave hospital.
Your wound will be covered by a simple adhesive dressing, like a large plaster. When you wash, be careful not to get your dressing wet. Dressings may be given to you on discharge from the ward to use if your dressing gets wet. After having your stitches out, you will not need a dressing and will be able to bath and shower as normal.


Your discharge from hospital will depend on your progress but may be as early as 24 hours after your operation. It is important to consider making arrangements for transport and everyday things like shopping, particularly if you live alone. Support can be arranged upon discharge but this will be done on an individual basis depending on your circumstances. More information about pain relief will be given to you when you are discharged. If you experience any problems, you should contact your G.P. A follow up appointment will be given to you for between 6-8 weeks.