Memorial Hospital

Post-Operative Care

What happens after surgery

Immediately after your surgery, you may be taken to the recovery room, also called the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit or PACU. You will be there for approximately one to two hours. After recovery you will be assigned a room in the Outpatient Surgery Center or to a hospital inpatient bed, should you need an extended recovery stay.


Pain control is a top priority for the care team at Memorial. Proper pain control benefits you by preventing complications and assisting in the healing process, and it contributes to a quicker recovery. We rely on your description of pain to assist with your pain control.

Ways you can help:

  • Ask your doctor or nurse what to expect.
  • Talk about pain relief choices with your doctor or nurse.
  • Ask for pain relief as soon as the pain begins.
  • Help doctors and nurses measure your pain.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse about any pain that will not go away.

At Memorial, a pain scale of 0 to 10 is used. A 0 level of pain means you feel no pain. A level of 10 means you feel the worst possible amount of pain you have ever experienced. By communicating your pain level in this way, your nurse will be better able to understand and help you with pain control.

Each person reacts differently to different types of surgery. Some people may experience mild nausea or vomiting after a procedure. If an airway or tube was used to help you breathe during your procedure, you may experience a sore throat.

Communicate and ask questions of your care team regarding how you feel.


The instructions you are given by your surgeon and care team have been carefully calculated to aid in your recovery. You can assist in the speed of recovery by doing certain breathing and moving exercises in the recovery room.

You will be asked to breathe deeply and cough to help clear your lungs, aid circulation and help prevent pneumonia.

It is important that your circulation and body functions return to normal after your surgery. You can help these processes by moving around, sitting up in a chair, and even walking, as indicated by your surgeon and healthcare team.

Incision and dressing care

Your incision area will be cleaned and properly dressed after surgery. Before you leave the hospital, someone from our healthcare team will show you how to provide care for the area. Be sure you understand the instruction sheet you are given.

Memorial Hospital

4500 Memorial Drive
Belleville, Illinois 62226
(618) 233-7750

Map to Location

Admission and Testing Center

4500 Memorial Drive
Belleville, Illinois 62226
(618) 257-5460

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Important Outpatient Surgery Information