What to Expect – Your Surgery and Hospital Stay

We understand that undergoing an operation can be a scary experience for you and your family. The Pancreas Center surgery team and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital staff will do everything they can to prepare you for your surgery. By the day of your scheduled operation, you should arrive at the hospital as relaxed as possible and feel confident that our team will take excellent care of you. Here is a summary of how your day will go:

Arrive and Register at Milstein Hospital Building

  • The Surgical Nursing Unit will call you between 12:00 and 3:30pm the day before your operation to confirm your arrival time. If they have not called you by 3:30pm, please call 212.305.0973.
  • Plan to arrive at the Milstein Hospital Building, 177 Fort Washington Avenue, 1 1/2 hours before your scheduled surgery time. Security in the lobby will direct you to the Admitting Department. Be sure to bring your insurance card with you. Do not bring large sums of money, jewelry or other valuables with you to the hospital.

Preparation

  • After checking in with the Admitting Department, you will be brought to a preoperative area and given a hospital gown and an ID bracelet. When you change into your hospital gown, you should give all your personal belongings to the nurse to place in a secure locker or to the friend or relative who has accompanied you to the operation. Your family and/or friends will be allowed to stay with you until you are taken to the anesthesia consultation, after which they will be asked to wait in the designated waiting area.
  • A nurse will check your vital signs (temperature, pulse, blood pressure) and go over your medical history.
  • Members of your surgical team will come to speak with you while you are in the preoperative area to confirm the procedure you are scheduled for and to answer any last minute questions you may have.

Anesthesia Consultation

Before entering the operating room, you will meet the anesthesiologist in charge of your case. Your anesthesiologist will review your medical history and explain how anesthesia will be administered during the procedure. All patients undergoing pancreatic operations receive general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and will be unaware of your surroundings once the anesthesia is administered.

Surgery

Once you have met with your anesthesiologist and your surgical team in the preoperative area, you will be taken to the operating room. The duration of your operation depends on the type of surgery you are having, as well as the location and pathology of your tumor. For more information on the type of operation you are having, please refer to the descriptions of each operation in the Pancreas Education section of this website by clicking here.

Recovery

Directly after your operation, you will be brought to the recovery room. A member of your surgical team will meet you there to discuss the outcome of your operation. Nurses on the recovery team will also monitor you closely, and ensure you are comfortable. Your family and friends will be allowed to visit you. You can expect to stay in recovery for several hours after your surgery, sometimes overnight, before being moved to the surgical unit where you will continue to be monitored closely. Some patients may also be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU).