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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Managing the return to work after surgery

    Managing the return to work after surgery

    Posted on December 27th, 2023

    Whether it’s a routine operation or emergency surgery, rest and recuperation are crucial in terms of enabling any patient to get back on the road to health after a spell in hospital. That said, there are many employees that will be keen to get back to their usual routine and return to work as soon as possible. Read on as the Occupational Health experts at YourGP offer advice on how employers can best manage that return to work and safeguard the health and wellbeing of their employees.

    How soon can an employee return to work after surgery?

    There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors including:

    • What kind of surgery they require
    • How successful the surgery was and how the individual responds to it
    • How well they were before surgery and any other underlying medical conditions they might have
    • How quickly they heal
    • What their job role entails

    However, as a rough guide The Royal College of Surgeons of England has some useful information on the kind of timeframes typically expected when returning to work after various kinds of procedures. From wisdom tooth extraction to carpal tunnel release and total hip replacement – this will give you a basic idea of how long you might expect an employee to be absent from work.

    How you can help make an employee’s return to work better

    As an employer, there are a number of things you can do to help with your employee’s transition back to work:

    • Be flexible if you can: Offer a phased return to work or reduced hours to begin with so they can gradually build back up to their previous level. Alternatively, enable them to work from home to help ease them back into work.
    • Be reasonable: Make any reasonable adjustments to the office in advance of their return to ensure it is as accessible as possible. This might include making practical changes to their workstation for example.
    • Communicate openly: The crucial thing is to keep your lines of communication with your employee open. After their return to work, check in with them regularly to see how they are coping both physically and mentally.
    • Foster a supportive work culture: Returning to work after surgery can be a daunting prospect for some employees, so communicate with the wider team to ensure your workplace is an understanding, supportive and welcoming environment for all.

    Speak to YourGP

    If you would like to speak to an Occupational Healthcare professional about ways you can support an employee’s return to work following surgery, you can make an appointment at YourGP. Simply call 0131 225 5656 or email and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment at a time that suits you.

    Halfway round the world from home (Australia) and really needed a GP. YourGP provided excellent prompt service. Made a call at 10.15am and was seen by a very caring doctor at 11.30am. Great ambassadors for Edinburgh.

    Trish M

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 |

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.