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Outpatient Surgery (cont.)

Going Home

All outpatient centers have strict discharge criteria. The individual must meet the following criteria before being released:

  • Have stable vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, temperature, and pain level)

  • Tolerate food and drink (Tolerating food and drink is important because oral medications may need to be taken to relieve pain or to prevent infection.)  

  • Be able to empty bladder

  • Walk unassisted
A responsible adult must be present at the time of discharge to assist the individual in going home. In addition, this adult should be with the individual at all times for the first 24 hours to provide help when necessary and to call for help should a problem arise.

  • Before going home, the person should have written instructions on the following:

    • Whom to contact in the hospital if a problem or complication occurs

    • What medication to take for pain

    • Activity level, and when a return to work is possible

    • When to start eating

    • Where to go if evaluation or admission to a hospital is necessary

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