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To explore patterns of changes in patients' postoperative recovery over 1 month within different surgery groups.A quantitative longitudinal survey design was used.A standardized questionnaire was used (N = 167 patients); the postoperative recovery profile for self-assessment of recovery. The postoperative recovery profile developed for hospitalized patients contains 17 items distributed over five dimensions: physical symptoms, physical function, psychological function, social function, and activity.Overall, orthopaedic patients perceived a lower recovery than general surgery patients. All major surgery groups and subgroups except for joint replacement patients indicated significant systematic changes toward lower levels of problems. The orthopaedic patients assessed their psychological functioning as impaired, and the gastric bypass group was the most recovered.The patients' expectations should be charted initially, and patients should be given realistic information to achieve a realistic hope for a good life in the future. A patient's recovery trajectory may not start after the surgery is completed. Rather, it has already commenced before surgery.