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Home › News › "Get back to normal quickly after surgery for the best result" say leading surgeons

"Get back to normal quickly after surgery for the best result" say leading surgeons

24 March 2011

Patients are being advised by specialists from the Royal College of Surgeons to get back into their normal routine as soon as it is safe to do so after surgery in order to have the best chance of a speedy recovery. A new series of online leaflets is being launched today [Thursday 24th March 2011] on the RCS patient information webpage Get Well Soon.

Get Well Soon is an online resource offering surgical patients practical tips and advice about getting back into everyday activities and work following common operations. This latest series of online leaflets, produced by the RCS and speciality surgical associations with funding from Department for Work and Pensions, covers nine new procedures including hip replacement, groin hernia repair and mastectomy.

The online information moves away from traditional perceptions that a lengthy spell of bed rest is the best way for all patients to recuperate, focusing instead on what a patient can do safely after a routine procedure.

Mr John Black, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: 

“Patients are naturally cautious about moving around after an operation, and often ask their surgeon for advice about when they can ‘get back to normal’. Get Well Soon compliments that advice, telling patients what to expect after surgery, and supporting a speedy return to a normal routine which we know aids a full recovery.”

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform said:

"We know that work is good for people's health and getting back into a routine after an operation can often aid recovery. The 'Get Well Soon' advice will provide an important resource for those recovering from surgery and offer clear advice on the steps they can take to return to work when the time is right."

Professor David Coggon, President of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, said:

“I believe these leaflets will give confidence to both health professionals and patients when they are considering the optimal time for return to work after surgery. We know that returning to work at the right time can aid the recovery process.”

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said:

“Patients repeatedly phone our helpline telling us that they are not given enough information regarding how to look after themselves after surgery and what to expect as part of the recovery process. We even hear from patients that subsequently have to be readmitted to hospital because they haven’t had enough support and information to fully understand what is required to recover after surgery. We welcome these new guides and hope they will help to answer that need and be of real use to patients.”

Get Well Soon offers advice about returning to a normal routine after the following surgery:

  • Arthroscopic meniscectomy*
  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Cataract Surgery (in association with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists)*
  • Coronary artery bypass graft
  • Discectomy
  • Gall Bladder Removal
  • Groin Hernia Repair*
  • Lumpectomy*
  • Lung Resection
  • Mastectomy*
  • Nasal Septoplasty*
  • Nephrectomy
  • Oesophagectomy*
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Total Hip Replacement *
  • Total Knee Replacement
  • Wisdom Tooth Extraction*

* Indicates new information

Eight leaflets aimed specifically at women who have had gynaecological surgery have been produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, available at:

- Ends –

Notes to Editor
1. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808. For more information please visit

2. Get Well Soon is a series of online patient information leaflets on the Royal College of Surgeons of England website, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, providing advice to help patients plan their recovery from surgery. The advice offers broad guidelines for people who do not have any complications with their surgery, or other specific medical circumstances, such as a long-term condition.

If you have any queries please contact:
- Matthew Worrall – Email:; T: 020 7869 6047
- Elaine Towell – Email:; T: 020 7869 6045
- Heather Casey - Email:; T: 020 7869 6042
- Out-of-hours: 07966 486 832