Visiting a Patient in Post-Op Rehab? 10 Things to Say

A patient in post-op rehab will be happy to have visitors at some times and under certain conditions. A visitor should ask himself these questions, since the patient is after surgery and deserves special love:

  • When is it convenient for the patient to have visitors?
  • Where is the patient holding in the post-op journey? Come mentally prepared.
  • Is there a meal or rest schedule? Come at the right time.
  • Does the patient want you to buy them anything? Bring something from their house?


10 Things to Say to A Patient who is in Post-Op Rehab

  1. Tell him that you are happy for him that the surgery is over that you look towards a bright future together with him.
  2. Ask him how he feels.
  3. Comment on how the rehab center looks well run, clean and modern.
  4. Was the surgery was as successful as the doctors had hoped?
  5. That you are paying for him.
  6. Is any thing you can arrange for him when he goes home?
  7. Would he like to have a ride home on the day of release?
  8. Ask how the post-op rehab is going.
  9. Report back to the patient about how the family is doing, and how friends are asking about him.
  10. Take a hand-written card to give the patient – he can read it over and again, even it after you have left. There are many sites with ideas for kind and encouraging messages for a patient.

Sensitizing Youngsters

Sometimes a patient in post-op mode still has equipment attached to their body, monitoring the temperature, pulse or blood pressure. Perhaps a patient is less mobile for other private reasons.

It is not always a good idea not to bring inquisitive children along who will ask, “What are all those funny wires and things?”

If you do take a child along, remember to bring some distractions, such as a simple card game that the child can offer to play with the patient, or a prepackaged snack for the child to share. That would be a good way for the child to connect to the patient naturally. It would help the child to overcome his curiosity as to the reasons for the equipment.

Explain to the child that all the people he sees are there because they want to become well and be healthier. This is an opportunity to remind the child how lucky he is to have health.

All My Love

The power of spoken words are well known, so choose yours carefully.

Give the patient a boost of love to carry him through the challenging times.

The period of time when a patient is in post-op rehab is demanding on the one hand and comforting on the other. The exercises are demanding and there may be a long road ahead. The comfort lies in the fact that things are going to get better.

After surgery, so many of the old questions are answered, and there are many new questions to take their place. Visitors, be they family or friends play a special part in post-op rehab. While the physical therapist helps to strengthen the physical muscles, the visitors help to strengthen the love muscles!


In Post-Op Rehab a person who is after surgery may feel they are on a desert island.

Perhaps a person who is in residential post-op rehab feels they are on a desert island. When you visit him, you join him on his island. Together, you can appreciate its beauty.


Photo by Sergio Jara on Unsplash

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