Post-operative FAQs (Neck Surgery)

Patient information

How will I feel when I get home?

It is very common to feel tired following surgery. Remember to rest for short periods throughout the day and build up to your normal activities slowly.

Can I go out as normal?

Yes, you can return to your usual social activities as soon as you feel ready to do so. If you intend to do any vigorous exercise please discuss this with me or one of the nurses.

What should my wound look like?

After the operation the area around the wound may be bruised. The bruising will reduce over the next few days. The scar line will appear red at first but will soon fade to a much lighter colour. A mild amount of swelling around the wound is normal immediately after surgery. It is important you contact us for advice if: (see below)

  • There is increasing pain, swelling or redness around wound
  • You have difficulty swallowing
  • You have a temperature or feel unwell
  • You have a sensation of tingling, ‘pins and needles’ or numbness in the tips of your fingers or toes or around your tongue and lips (drinking milk sometimes helps reduce these symptoms)

Is it OK to turn my head?

Yes it is! It is important to start moving your neck and head as soon as possible following your surgery. Take the painkillers you have been prescribed regularly in order to allow yourself to regain movement. It is OK to touch your wound especially if it helps when coughing.

Do my stitches need to be removed?

The stitches are dissolvable so don’t need to be removed. The ends will be trimmed before you are discharged.

When can I return to work?

I will give you a sick note for 2 weeks. If you feel it is necessary to have more time off work then your GP can issue you with further sick notes and if you want to go back to work sooner then that is fine too.

When is it safe to drive?

It is important that you have regained full movement in your neck before driving. If movement is compromised your vehicle insurance may not cover you. Be sure to let your vehicle insurance company know that you have had surgery.

Can I have a shower?

It is OK to shower. The wound can get wet but don’t soak it. Pat the wound dry with a clean towel when you’re done.

When will I get my results?

I will tell you the results from your operation when you come for your first post-operative appointment. My team will get in touch with you with the time and date of this appointment.

Contact us

If you need to contact me, please call Wakefield Hospital on (04) 381 8120 ext 7343

In an emergency, call 111

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