The Day of Your Surgery Schedule of Events
The Morning of Surgery at the Hospital
You will be taken to a pre-operative area and asked to change into a hospital gown. A nurse will perform an assessment. This includes taking your blood pressure, temperature and pulse. Most patients need to have an intravenous catheter (IV) placed before surgery to allow fluids and/or medications to be delivered quickly and safely through your vein. A nurse or anesthesia provider will start your IV in the pre-operative area. When appropriate, you will be given an antibiotic through the IV to reduce the risk of surgical site infection.
You will be asked to verify your name, procedure, surgical site, date of birth and surgeon. If appropriate for your surgery, the surgeon may mark the surgical site with you. We call this surgical site verification and it is done for your safety. You will sign a consent for surgery and anesthesia. (A parent or legal guardian must sign for patients under age 18 or for special circumstances.) Interpreters will be provided if needed.During Your Surgery
You will be taken to the operating room on a bed where you will be provided very good care. You will be given a surgical hat to wear. Once again, you will be asked to verify your name, procedure, date of birth and surgeon. These questions are asked again for your safety. You will be asked to move to the surgical bed. The operating room may feel cold. This is because you are not wearing the clothing you usually do. Operating room staff care about your comfort and modesty and will offer blankets or other warming devices to cover you. Your vital signs will be monitored throughout the surgery. Cold, adhesive pads will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart rate, a cuff placed on your upper arm to monitor your blood pressure and a clip placed on your finger to monitor your oxygen level. Some patients will breathe through an oxygen mask placed over their nose and mouth; but this only happens depending on the type of anesthesia you will receive. A member of your surgical team will remain by your side until you are safely asleep and throughout your procedure.
You will be constantly monitored by your anesthesia provider from the beginning to the end of your surgery. After you have received your anesthesia, final positioning takes place. If you need a urinary catheter, it will be placed at this time. The catheter may be in place as you wake up, but it will be removed as soon as it is safe to do so. This may cause a temporary sensation to urinate.
It is important that we communicate information about you to your family and friends throughout the entire experience, and we will be sure to provide them information on regular basis. Your family and friends will be told if you require some time in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where staff can monitor your blood pressure and heart rate and administer other medications as needed. Whether or not you need to stay over night following surgery will be decided by your physician.After Your Surgery
Although pain is a natural consequence of surgery, our goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible. To help us manage your pain, it is important that we understand how much pain you are feeling. You will be asked to rate your pain using a scale of 0-10. A rating of zero means you do not feel any pain. A rating of 10 means you are in extreme pain. We will work with you to manage your pain. Make sure you tell your nurse when the pain begins. Avoid waiting until the pain is intolerable for you; severe pain is harder to control.
If the plan is for you to be discharged the same day of surgery, you will return to the pre-operative area where your nurse will monitor you until it is safe for you to be discharged. If the plan is for you to stay over night, you will be taken to your hospital room after your recovery experience.
During your recovery time, you may need to demonstrate that you can drink fluids or tolerate food. Nursing staff will review and give you written information of your surgeon’s instructions with you so you will know how to care for yourself. Your family or companions are welcome to hear this information and ask questions if needed. You may be drowsy, weak or unsteady on your feet. That is why we ask you to make arrangements for a responsible adult (18 years or older) to take you home after surgery and to stay with you for 24 hours.
Rest, relax and take fluids once you get home.