When you arrive at your designated time (1-2 hours prior to your scheduled surgery), you will go directly to the Ambulatory Surgery Department at the hospital.
This is where the hospital staff will prepare you for surgery. You will be asked to change into a gown, and remove jewelry, dentures, hearing aids, etc. You will be asked several questions, such as when you last ate, allergies to medications, etc. Someone will also start your IV at this time. This is also where you will meet the anesthesiologist. Be sure to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have about anesthesia.
Your family and/or friends are welcome to stay with you until you are taken to the Operating Room and during the recovery period. When you are in surgery, family members and friends may wait in the surgical waiting area. They will need to check in with the surgical hostess. Reports are given to family and friends in the waiting area by a staff member or volunteer during long procedures. Your surgeon will make every effort to speak with family and friends following the procedure.
When the Operating Room (OR) is ready, you will be transported to the OR. The OR is very cold in order to keep it sterile and to keep the surgery staff cool under the very bright lights and the sterile gowns. At this point, the OR staff will prepare you further for surgery by hooking you up to different monitors so that they may monitor your health status during your surgery. When everything is ready, the anesthesiologist will give you some medication to make you sleep. The OR staff will then clean the surgical site with antimicrobial soap. All body areas will be draped except the part that will be operated on. Your Anesthesiologist will be with you throughout the surgery. Your Surgeon will guide the team through the actual operation. Depending on the type of surgical procedure, a number of other team members will be present in the OR. The team may include nurses, surgical technicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and radiology staff.
Once the surgery is complete, you will be taken to the Recovery Room. You will be continuously monitored until you are awake and alert (1-2 hours). You are kept in this area until you are considered stable enough to move; this decision is made by your Anesthesiologist. Depending on the type of surgery and your post operative condition, you will proceed to one of three places:
The Ambulatory Surgery Unit
The Intensive Care Unit
The Inpatient Unit