Recovery Overnight Procedures

Yellowstone Surgery Center provides outpatient services where you are not ‘admitted’ and you typically go home the same day that you visited the surgery center. Overnight procedures also known as 23-hour procedure require you to ‘stay’ overnight for observation, so we can better monitor your progress.

Your Surgeon or Physician Assistant (PA)

  • Will answer any questions you may have.
  • Will write your discharge orders.
  • Will write any prescriptions you will use at home.

Physical Therapy*

  • A Physical Therapist will work with you in the morning prior to your discharge.
  • They will demonstrate how to properly get in and out of bed, use the walker or crutches, and instruct on how to get up and down stairs.
  • The therapist will ensure you meet their discharge criteria and are safe to be discharged home.

Your Nurses*

  • The nurses will change your surgical dressing, discontinue any drains that may have been placed during surgery and draw your blood.
  • The nurse will make sure you are comfortable with all of your at home care before you are discharged.

*If Applicable to your Procedure

We want to help educate our patients so they feel more confident about their procedure, and what is to be expected after they leave our care.

Depending on your procedure, all or some of these items may be a potential risk. Please ask your nurse any questions you may have about the below topics before you go home.



Hand Hygiene

Stop Germs! Stay Healthy! Wash Your Hands. Information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For more details on handwashing, visit 


Constipation and Stool Softeners

  • Constipation is stools that are too dry or large to pass easily and is a common side effect from pain medications, anesthesia and lack of mobility.
  • As the body is likely to be more sensitive or prone to damage than usual, it is best to use gentle constipation relief, like stool softeners, after your procedure.
  • Continue to take stool softeners at home after your procedure until you have quit taking the prescription pain medication.

Blood Clots

  • Surgery may cause the blood to slow and coagulate in the veins of your legs, creating a blood clot.
  • This is why you take blood thinners after surgery.
  • If a clot occurs despite these measures, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for close monitoring.
  • Blood clots can form in either leg.

Pulmonary Embolus

An unrecognized blood clot could break away from the vein and travel to the lungs.

  If you Suspect Pulmonary Embolus: Call 911 immediately or go to the Emergency Department!

Expected Pain

You have the right to expect appropriate pain control. The GOAL for your pain management is to make your pain TOLERABLE, it is NOT to take away all of the pain.

  • A tolerable pain level is anywhere on the pain scale of 1-4, YOU decide.
  • An “ache” or “soreness” is a tolerable pain level.
  • You should be able to get up and move around but DO NOT take pain medication to do more than what your physician wants you to do.
  • You need to be able to rest and heal.
  • You also need to be able to cough and take deep breaths.

If you need help with managing pain, talk to your nurse or doctor. Using a Pain Scale to describe your pain will help our staff determine the severity of your pain and help them make the best decisions to help manage it.

Pain Control

Your physician may write a prescription for pain pills that will be used at home. The Yellowstone Surgery Center does not fill prescriptions; therefore, you will need to be prepared to purchase your pain medication at your pharmacy of choice.

There are other things you can do to help your pain, these include:

  • Position yourself in a “neutral” position, head elevated 45 degress, pillow under knees.
  • Ice incision area – do not put directly on skin, 20 minutes 4-6 times a day (NO ICE unless approved by your physician).
  • NO HEAT unless approved by your physician.
  • Distract yourself by watching TV, listening to music, or reading.
  • Take other medications as directed by your physician that are not opioids.
  • Take your medication as ordered, DO NOT take more than prescribed unless directed to do so.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use “street” drugs while taking your pain medication.
  • Do not take over the counter medications, supplements or vitamins unless directed to do so.
  • If you have left over medication take to a pharmacy to dispose of it, don’t save it to use “later”.
  • If you have sleep apnea, USE YOUR CPAP machine even if you are going to just take a nap.
  • Take a stool softener twice a day as long as you are taking the narcotic to avoid constipation.

Common issues that will dissipate

  • Increased swelling
  • Tightness
  • Soreness
  • Muscle spasms or cramping
  • Surgery site pain
  • Muscle pain from positioning
  • Sore throat from breathing tube placed during procedure

Body Changes


  • It is normal to have to have difficulty sleeping.
  • Do not sleep or nap too much during the day.
  • If you have sleep apnea, USE YOUR CPAP machine even if you are going to take a nap.


  • Medication works better when you are relaxed.


  • Your appetite may be poor, your desire for solid food will return.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep from getting dehydrated.

Moving / Activity


  • Refer to physician’s discharge instructions with mobility.

Physical Therapy

  • If ordered by your physician, you may be required to attend Physical Therapy after being discharged.

Complete Patient Procedure Guide

Select from the Following Items for Your Procedure Guide

before procedure

Before Procedure

Suggestions and Recommendations before your Surgery

day of procedure

Day of Procedure

Day of Surgery Timeline and What to Know



Information to Know and Understand Before You’re Discharged