What is the Check-In procedure?
When you arrive you will report to the area as directed during your pre-operative phone call. You will be escorted to the waiting area where we will provide a locker for your clothes. You will be given a hospital gown, bathrobe and slippers to change in to. You can relax in this comfortable room with one or two family members.
A nurse will place a hospital ID band on your wrist and take some preliminary measurements; your temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. (S)he will review the surgical plan and ask you to verify the procedure and confirm the correct side. The surgery site will be marked as needed. You will also speak briefly with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. An intravenous (IV) line will be started in a vein in your arm. This allows the medical staff to deliver fluid and medication directly into your bloodstream. The IV will remain during surgery and for a while after surgery.
In the OR
When you are called into the operating room you will be asked to remove any dentures, eyeglasses and wigs. Your family will move to the family waiting area at this time. You will be escorted to the OR and meet the surgical team. You will be connected to a heart monitor, your blood pressure will be taken, and a small clip will be placed on your finger to measure your blood oxygen level.
The type of anesthesia you receive will depend on the type of surgery you are having and your personal preferences.
- Local Anesthesia: the operative area is numbed so that you will not feel pain. This is commonly used for lumpectomy, wide excision, segmental resection. Local anesthesia is often accompanied by a sedative to reduce anxiety.
- General Anesthesia: you will sleep deeply during the surgery and there may be a breathing tube placed in your throat.
You will be monitored by an anesthesiologist at all times.
Where Will I wake up?
After surgery you will be taken to the recovery room (PACU) where you will be observed while you recover from the anesthesia. Your family members will be notified that the surgery is over. If you are going home on the day of surgery you will be transferred to the Ambulatory Recovery Room. Family members can visit you there and discharge instructions will be given to you before you are sent home. All Ambulatory Patients are required to have an adult escort to take them home. If you are staying overnight you will be taken to one of the hospital units. Your family can visit you in your hospital room.
What if I have pain?
Pain medication will be prescribed by your doctor. You will be assessed for pain by the nursing staff. You will be asked to describe your pain on a scale of 1-10. You may find that Extra-Strength Tylenol® is all you need to relieve pain or discomfort. However, there are several different pain medications and you will receive a medication and regimen that works for you.
What is Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA)?
This is a pump used to administer pain medication. When you feel pain, you press a button on the pump and pain medication is delivered to you through an IV line. The PCA pump is set so that you cannot give yourself too much pain medication.
When Will I Be Able to Eat?
When the effects of anesthesia have worn off you will be given clear liquids to drink. You will be able to eat your regular diet soon after you are able to tolerate clear liquids.