Gifts for Patients after Surgery

Give a little something to make someone else feel better. Use our guide to find the best gifts for patients after surgery.

Discovering that you’ll need surgery can be a challenging situation. It’s a reality we may all face at some point in our lives, despite the discomfort it may bring. Whether it’s a minor procedure like having your wisdom teeth removed or a more significant intervention such as a knee or hip replacement, there seems to be a surgical solution for almost every part of the body.

However, if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid surgery thus far, consider yourself truly fortunate or exceptionally resilient! Nevertheless, it’s highly likely that someone dear to you will encounter the need for surgery at some point. In the following sections, we will explore thoughtful and considerate gift ideas to show support and bring comfort to your friend or loved one during their post-surgery recovery.

Gifts to Brighten up Someone’s Day

Woman lies in a hospital bed with a team of medical staff looking and smiling at her
Nothing is better than being visited by some friendly faces after surgery, as can be seen here in one of the many scenes from the well known show Greys Anatomy. Image courtesy of the Strategist.

Ending up in the operating room is never on anyone’s bucket list, but unfortunately a number of us will find ourselves visiting one at least once during our lifetimes. Despite the fact that surgeries aren’t fun, one of the brighter sides is the opportunity to spend some time with family and friends. Plus after most surgeries, individuals tend to receive gifts from others, and who doesn’t like a gift? Below we have some of our favorite gift recommendations for people after surgery, and we hope that you are able to find something that you can gift someone in your life.

Create a Meal Train

The purpose of the meal train is so that the individual who had surgery as well as their loved ones are able to have food to eat. They help to keep the recipients and their families from having to worry about food or having to grocery shop for a particular time period.

When creating a meal train it is important to note any allergies or foods that the recipient may dislike. This is important because you don’t want to accidentally cause any allergic reactions or make food that will go to waste because no one will eat it. After finding out this information, be sure to note it prominently on your support page so anyone providing a meal knows the guidelines.

You can create a meal train with Give InKind by creating an InKind Page. Noting dietary restrictions and setting up a delivery schedule will allow for those contributing to the meal train to see what others are bringing and keep from overwhelming the recipient.

Make sure that there is a combination of frozen as well as instant reheat meals contributed. This allows the recipient to have food to heat and eat over time, as well as have some to eat immediately/as needed. We highly recommend that you have those who contribute provide heating or cooking instructions for the meals. 

         If this is the route that you and your support network are thinking of going for a friend or family member who has had surgery, we recommend visiting Give InKind for more information as well as ideas for great meal train meals.

Cozy Blankets

More likely than not after a surgery your friend or family member will be spending a fair amount of time either in bed or hanging out on the couch. In this case a nice cozy blanket can make for a really great gift. Not only is it practical to use after surgery, but they also are great to pull out on cold nights or during the winter. The best part about blankets is that they come in so many different colors, sizes as well as weight. 

Fuzzy Blanket - one of the great gifts for patients after surgery
We don’t know about you but a cozy blanket such as this looks warm to huddle under and would be an amazing blanket to use after surgery or during the cold winter nights. Image courtesy of Real Simple.

Fuzzy Socks or Slippers

Similar to the blanket, these are two other amazing gifts to give someone after surgery. Along with keeping their feet warm, they are comfortable to wear after surgery and can come in a variety of colors as well as patterns.


Adult Coloring Books

For the longest time it was thought to be that coloring was something just for kids, however more recently, adult coloring books have continued to grow increasingly popular. You can use adult coloring books as both something to do as well as to keep your memory clear. The best part about adult coloring books is that there are so many different types out there, and so many different coloring utensils including markers  (thin and thick), crayons, colored pencils, and colored pens! It all comes down to what the person’s preference may be. 

When coloring, something important to keep in mind is how thick or thin the coloring pages may be, with thin coloring pages it is easier for the coloring utensils you use to bleed through the paper. If you notice that your pages you are using bleed through easily, then be sure to let the recipient know so that they can put something in between the coloring pages to help prevent  bleeding onto the pages.

Personalized Music Playlist

With this particular gift it allows for you to both have fun and get creative. We recommend that the music remain upbeat and positive. Any gift for a patient after surgery should be encouraging. It is a  reminder to the recipient to stay positive and that all will be worthwhile in the end. You can add music that you love along with music that you know that they like. A couple apps that allow you to create your own playlist include Spotify, Apple music and Pandora to name a few.


TV Streaming Service

Now there are so many movie and television streaming services out there, that it is up to you which one to use as a gift for your friend or family member after they  had surgery.

A number of these streaming services allow users to have watch parties where they can stream a show or movie at the same time as others and watch it together. There are a number of streaming services to choose from. Some of our favorites include Netflix, Hulu, Max, and Peacock. It is important to consider what kind of shows and movies the recipient likes since there are certain shows and movies on one platform and others on a different one. However, in the end it is hard to go wrong with any of these services.

A screen displays logos for various entertainment streaming services: Hulu, Sling, YouTubeTV, Philo, DirecTV, ViX, Fubo, VDGO, and Peacock
How is one supposed to choose what streaming services to subscribe to? The best way to go about it is to consider what type of shows or movies you are into and to go from there. Peoples’ preferences may vary.  Image courtesy of Readers Digest.


Journals are one of the best gifts to give someone. Whether it is after they have had surgery, or you are giving it to them as a gift for another occasion, it is hard to go wrong. There are so many shapes, colors, sizes and types available. Along with the generic lined journal there are bullet journals, journals with no lines, and journals that may come with different writing prompts. Journals have been something used by people for centuries, and now there are so many more options available. Now this can be a risky gift to give someone, as there are no promises that the recipient is someone who necessarily enjoys writing. A good thing to consider adding if you do gift someone a journal is a note that encourages them to try journaling and to explain a bit on just how helpful it can be to keep a journal. 

Something a number of people don’t consider when it comes to journaling is that there are a variety of ways as well as reasons that a person gets into journaling. The best known reason is that it permits them to be able to be themselves and write down what they are truly thinking. It allows people to let out all their emotions and what they are thinking about, and in the end, it is up to them how much they decide they do or don’t want to share. It is a great way for the recipient after their surgery to write down what they are thinking and fears that they may have. 

Yes, they may have someone in their life that they are able to talk to, but the person won’t necessarily be able to relate  one hundred percent. These are just some of the benefits of gifting someone who had surgery a journal.

We hope that you were able to find a few potential gifts for patients after surgery.

Check out more of Give InKind’s gift guides to learn about the best gifts for every occasion. And keep in mind, just the thought of giving someone who had surgery one of these gifts will mean a lot to them.


Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.

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