post·​op·​er·​a·​tive | \ ˌpōst-ˈä-p(ə-)rə-tiv How to pronounce postoperative (audio) , -pə-ˌrā- \

Definition of postoperative

1 : following a surgical operation postoperative care
2 : having recently undergone a surgical operation a postoperative patient

Other Words from postoperative

postoperatively adverb

Examples of postoperative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hours involved in medically optimizing a patient and planning postoperative care shifted from the inpatient admission to the preoperative period, where none of these efforts are financially captured. Prem Ramkumar, Forbes, 4 Sep. 2021 But the board accused him of negligence in the postoperative care of two other patients: an elderly man whose foot began dragging after back surgery and another man who developed a serious spinal infection that Chiu failed to diagnose. Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2021 The study, published in the journal Anaesthesia in March, examined the 30-day postoperative mortality rate of more than 140,000 patients in 116 countries who had elective or emergency surgery in October. NBC News, 24 June 2021 Roger Federer, still the biggest draw in the men’s game at age 39, withdrew after three rounds to preserve his postoperative right knee and his energy for Wimbledon. New York Times, 9 June 2021 Rainbow Doula offers birth, postoperative, and postpartum doulas for the LGBTQ+ community in Washington, DC. Alexis Jones,, 7 June 2021 Also, the idea that labor pains are worse than postoperative surgical pain, is false. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 28 Apr. 2021 Later, the researchers realized that the brain was simply reacting to having been tampered with—the electrical equivalent of a postoperative wound. Christine Kenneally, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2021 In an effort to free up some beds in the ICU, the hospital on Monday opened a space previously reserved for postoperative recovery to accommodate intermediate-level COVID-19 patients, since operating rooms are now closed to all but emergency cases. Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postoperative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of postoperative

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for postoperative

International Scientific Vocabulary

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The first known use of postoperative was in 1872

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Cite this Entry

“Postoperative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for postoperative



English Language Learners Definition of postoperative

: happening after an operation
: having had an operation recently


post·​op·​er·​a·​tive | \ ˈpōst-ˈäp-(ə-)rət-iv How to pronounce postoperative (audio) \

Medical Definition of postoperative

1 : relating to, occurring in, or being the period following a surgical operation postoperative care
2 : having recently undergone a surgical operation a postoperative patient

Other Words from postoperative

postoperatively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on postoperative

Nglish: Translation of postoperative for Spanish Speakers


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