Some patients are not stable enough to go to a hospital ward after an operation and they are admitted either to a High Dependency Unit (HDU) or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for close monitoring and observation and further more invasive treatment. This may just be for observation of the vital signs (Blood pressure, Heart ratem Oxygen in the blood, Respiratory rate, Temperature and Pain) or for more invasive procedures, such as ventilation.
Some patients may need investigations after the operation, such as blood tests, a chest X-ray or a CT-scan. These can be done in the recovery room or later on the ward if the patient is stable enough to leave the recovery room without the investigation.
Patients will be discharged home when they have recovered from an operation, the observations are stable and they are able to eat and drink, go to the toilet and sickness and pain are adequately controlled. They will be given a prescription of pain killers if needed, information and a discharge summary with advice for the GP.
Patients will often be seen by their surgeon and anaesthetist immediately after the operation, but they are usually given an appointment for a follow up appointment with the surgeon or their GP which may be days, weeks or months after the operation depending on their condition and surgery