For anyone getting ready to have rotator cuff surgery, here is a bit of my experience and some tips that may or may not be helpful.
Aside from doing everything your doctor suggests, I found it was a good idea to get the house ready for post-surgery. Since I'm the primary cook in our family and would not be able to cook for a while, I prepared a couple of weeks worth of meals that could be frozen and then reheated as needed. Some people will have family and friends who will want to bring meals by and that is great, but you will probably be in a sling for anywhere from 4-6 weeks so having meals prepared is always really helpful. I also stocked up on any shopping that needed to be done to make life a little easier for my husband who gets lost in a grocery store really easily. As much as you can do ahead of time, the easier things will be after surgery.
You might also want to get the room you'll be sleeping in ready. You probably won't be able to sleep in a bed for a while so they suggest a recliner. I don't have a recliner that's good for sleeping so pillows propped up in the corner of the couch worked well too.
A friend suggested that I have a basket of goodies close at hand after surgery so I loaded up a basket with hand lotion, chap stick, my iPod, books, tissues, hard candy, chocolate and pain meds (all the essentials of life), along with a water bottle with a pop-up lid. Something I wasn't expecting was the horrendous sore throat I had after surgery from the breathing tube. The hard candy was especially handy for keeping my throat lubricated and feeling better. And of course the TV remote and my phone was essential too. You can Facebook with one hand from the phone and stay in touch with people to help with boredom.
As for the surgery itself there's not much to say. It is easy and fast and I think in most cases now is done on an outpatient basis. If they offer a nerve block, I would highly recommend it. It will numb your shoulder and arm down to your hand. You'll wake up and have a really strange sensation in your arm and hand and your hand will be completely useless but it will give you anywhere from 12-18 hours with no pain. Numbness can be a good thing!
They will want you to start physical therapy ASAP. A good thing to invest in is a pulley that will help you stretch out the arm when your doctors says you can do that. If you're handy, you can probably make one, if not, you can buy them for about $20. They are well worth every penny. A wall works well too but the pulley was a good starting place for me to work up to the wall.
At the suggestion of my PT I also use a baseball bat (the ultimate weapon) to help with over the head stretches.
This was something I was worried about. For women, this surgery presents some challenges our men friends just don't have. One thing that worked out well for me was to find a sports bra with spaghetti straps - not the kind that cross over in the back - you wont be able to get your arm though those. When you get dressed, just step into the bra and pull it up. Sounds crazy I know, but "whatever works".
Button up shirts are a must as well as sweat pants - you wont be able to button your jeans for quite a while - that just requires too many gymnastics for a one-armed person.
I had worried about this one. No one can fix my hair. I pay a very good hairstylist to cut my hair and she can't fix it to please me so I was worried. I bought some hats to wear "just in case". Turns out, they want me to raise my hand above my head as much as possible so I just consider it "therapy" to fix my hair. It may not look great, but I'm pretty proud of the effort.
Put your makeup on. Ha! Seriously, no one cares if you wear make up or not but IF it makes you feel better, then go for it. If you feel better you'll be more likely to get up and move and that's what recovery takes, so whatever works to get you moving, do it.