Before you leave hospital, it's important that you understand and/or have with you the following items:
- Discharge summary from your surgeon
- Instructions for going home from your surgeon
- Any medications or prescriptions to have filled
- Your own medications that you brought with you to hospital
- Personal belongings eg. your mobile phone charger, your own pillows and any other items you brought with you, such as letters or reports, X-rays, or your Prescription Subsidy Card
- Any supplies or aids needed for your care at home
- When you're ready, let your nurse or the charge nurse know that you are ready to leave.
print our handy checklist.
Before you leave the hospital, your surgeon will give you a prescription for any additional medications you are required to take. Your nurse or surgeon will explain these medications to you and will give you a 'Medications After Surgery' guide to take home with you. You may also need to see our pharmacist to discuss instructions for your medications.
Your nurse will arrange for your prescription to be collected from the Pharmacy, if required. Please make sure you have your Prescription Subsidy Card, if appropriate. Let the nurse or your surgeon know if you already have these medications at home and don't need any additional supply
Depending on the payment agreement with your insurer you may need to pay for your medication on discharge.
Your regular medications
On discharge, your nurse will return your regular medications to you. Please make sure you don't leave without them.
Your diet can enhance your wellness in many different ways. For this reason, and depending on your operation/procedure, you may need to see a dietitian after your surgery to discuss dietary options that will help you recover.
Fitness for work
When you can return to work depends on the type of work that you do and the type of surgery you've had. Ask your surgeon before you leave hospital about when you might be fit for work. You will be given a medical certificate if needed.
When you leave hospital you will be given a discharge summary, and your GP will receive an electronic copy. This includes information about your presenting problem, your operation/procedure and any follow-up required. Your family doctor also receives a copy of the summary. If you need to visit your family doctor or an after-hours doctor, please remember to take this discharge summary with you.
The recommended discharge time is 10.00am. Discharge after this time may incur additional charges. if you have trouble organising for your discharge, please discuss this with your nurse.
If you have had a general anaesthetic, we strongly advise that someone stays with you overnight. If this isn't possible please let your surgeon or our Customer Support team know prior to admission.
To ensure your safety, there is strictly no driving within 24 hours of having a general anaesthetic. Therefore you probably won't be permitted to drive after your surgery. Please make sure you have arranged a way to travel home safely.
You will usually receive separate accounts from your surgeon, your anaesthetist and MercyAscot.
MercyAscot hospital charges include accommodation, operating room fees, anaesthetic supplies, medication and medical supplies.
There may also be additional charges for X-rays, physiotherapy or laboratory services.
Personal expenses such as toll calls, beverages from the drinks trolley and visitor meals will be charged to your account.
Your invoice will be posted to you approximately five working days after discharge. All collection or legal costs incurred in recovering any debt will be charged to you.
Patients with insurance
If you had prior approval from your insurer, once you have received all the invoices relating to your surgery, you must complete a claim form and forward all this to your health insurer.
After the hospital has received payment from your insurance company, MercyAscot will then forward you a statement showing any amount outstanding that has not have been covered by your insurer.
If you didn't have prior approval from your insurer, you will have paid the total estimated hospital costs on admission.
You will be invoiced for any additional costs approximately seven working days after discharge, or notified of any refund.
Overseas patients must contact Customer Support (Mercy Hospital 09 623 6833 extn 28460, Ascot Hospital 09 520 9500 extn 69134) prior to admission to obtain an estimate of hospital costs. You are then required to pay the total estimated cost on admission. You will be invoiced for any additional costs approximately five working days after discharge, or notified of any refund.
Your hospital accounts will be paid directly by ACC. You are required to pay any personal expenses incurred such as toll calls, drinks and visitors meals on discharge.
You will also need to pay for any take-home medication when you're discharged.
If you'd like to pay your account with us by Internet banking, please ask for our account details.
MercyAscot also accepts cash, most credit cards, bank cheques, and EFTPOS.
Personal cheques are accepted by prior arrangement only. Personal cheques must be deposited five working days prior to admission to the hospital to allow for clearance.
Patients without prior approval will be requested to pay the total estimated hospital costs on admission, and pay a balance of payment after your discharge."Your account" is above of this page more information.
So that you're aware of any payment or possible balance of payment, and so we can give you an estimate of our costs, please call:
Customer Support on 09 623 6833 extn 28460 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Support on 09 520 9500 extn 69134 or email: email@example.com
Depending on the operation/procedure you had, you may experience certain sensations that include pain, nausea, sore throat, muscle pain, or a reduced ability to concentrate. These are often to be expected, and usually nothing to worry about.
However, if you experience any serious problems, or you become severely unwell following discharge, for example feverish, increasing pain or bleeding:
- Call 111 and take an ambulance to the closest public hospital
OR if the problem seems less serious:
- Call your surgeon (refer to the discharge summary for their phone number). If he or she isn't available, please contact your family doctor or visit your local Accident & Medical Clinic.
With regular pain relief you should be able to rest comfortably and carry out activities like walking, showering and physiotherapy exercises. If you find that the medications prescribed by your surgeon aren't enough to manage your pain, please contact your family doctor or surgeon.
Feeling tired, uncomfortable and vulnerable when you first go home after surgery is very normal. Plan to have some rest time in your bed, and let family and friends know not to disturb you for the first day or so - unless they're helping with meals and other activities.
Looking after your operation site (wound)
All wounds go through several stages of healing, and you will be able to see these changes. It is normal to feel:
- Tingling, numbness and itching sensations
- A firm lump under the scar as new tissue forms (this can take six months or longer to resolve)
- Slight pulling around the stitches or clips as the wound heals
We recommend that you shower rather than bath, unless your surgeon or nurse advise otherwise.
If your wound becomes painful, red or swollen, starts to ooze pus/blood or clear fluid, or you get a fever consult your family doctor or surgeon straight away in case you have developed a wound infection.
If you have clips, staples or non-dissolving stitches in your wound when you go home, these usually need to be removed by your surgeon/family doctor or as an outpatient 10-14 days after your operation. Dissolvable stitches are used under the skin and these can take some months to dissolve completely.
Changes in diet, activity and medications can lead to irregular bowel habits, but this usually goes back to normal with time. A well-balanced diet, including plenty of fluid and exercise is beneficial.
If you have been given specific instructions about activity from your surgeon or physiotherapist please follow these closely to help your recovery. Otherwise, simply increase the amount of exercise you do gradually. For example you might decide to take a short walk two or three times a day and slowly increase the distance over a few weeks.
Many people find it easier to use a dining room chair to sit in rather than getting up from a low chair, espcially if you have had abdominal or back surgery.
If a certain movement hurts, avoid it where possible until you get your strength back. Movements that cause discomfort can include bending and stretching, lifting heavy weights (including children), pulling and pushing (like vacuuming or lawn mowing).
If you have been given specific instructions about sexual relations from your surgeon, please follow these, otherwise there is no set rule about the time at which you can resume your usual sexual relations. If you experience pain or discomfort during sexual activity we recommend that you wait a little longer. This is natural and will improve as you get stronger and fitter.
The time you can safely start driving depends largely on the type of operation/procedure you've had. The main concern is your ability to make an emergency stop. If your wound is not causing you any pain, then you're probably ready to drive.
You should NOT drive if you are taking strong pain relief that makes you drowsy or slows reaction times.
Please check with your car insurance company about your vehicle coverage following surgery.
Going back to work
It's important to feel well before you return to work or you could be affected by tiredness and reduced concentration. Talk to your surgeon or family doctor if your recovery is taking longer than your surgeon thought it would and/or the medical certificate you were given does not seem to be for long enough.
You may be advised to go to your family doctor for a follow-up check one week after discharge, or to visit your surgeon's clinic. Your surgeon will let you know how to make this appointment. This allows your surgeon to check your progress, provide you with any test results and give you the chance to ask any remaining questions.