Q. What happens on the day of my surgery/procedure?
This is a big day for you irrespective of the type of procedure you will be undergoing. You will probably be anxious and it is important you try and remain calm. Helpful relaxation tools include meditation, slow deep breathing techniques, and having a family member or friend to accompany you for support. A book, game, iPad or laptop computer can also be very helpful while you wait.
Q. What happens when I arrive at the hospital?
Upon arrival at the hospital or outpatient center you will need to complete and sign some preanesthetic documents. A preoperative R.N will review your medical history, medications and record your vital signs. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. If you are undergoing certain procedures such as orthopedic procedures your surgical site may be prepped. Your surgical site may also need to be clipped for other procedures such as open heart surgery.In addition, your anesthesiologist may also have prescribed preoperative medication for acid reflux and/or nausea that you may be asked to take with a sip of water.
Q. When will I meet my Anesthesiologist?
One of our board certified Anesthesiologists will meet you in the preoperative holding area prior to your procedure. Your anesthesiologist will review your medical history, medications, discuss the anesthesia and address any questions or concerns that you may have at that time. We also sometimes work with CRNAs (Nurse Anesthetists) and/or Anesthesiologist’s Assistants, usually on labor and delivery, and they may also discuss the anesthesia with you.
Q. What type of anesthesia will be used?
There are different types of anesthesia including local, sedation, regional blocks (e.g. spinal and epidural), peripheral nerve blocks as well as several general anesthetic techniques. Your anesthesiologist will determine what type you will require depending on the type of surgical procedure, your medical condition, and preference of you and your surgeon.
Q. What are the risks of anesthesia?
Anesthesia and surgery does carry risks and during your preoperative PACE appointment your R.N. will give you a copy of our detailed anesthesia consent form for you to go through prior to your procedure. Your anesthesiologist will also be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding anesthetic risks prior to your procedure.
Q. What if I am still nervous?
If you are still anxious after meeting with your anesthesiologist and discussing your anesthesia your anesthesiologist can prescribe an IV anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication to help you relax prior to your transfer to the operating room by the O.R. Nurse.
Q. Will I get nauseated?
We will make every effort to prevent this side effect of anesthesia, surgery and certain pain medications by administering anti-nausea medication before you wake up. Some patients may still get nauseated despite our best efforts and we will aggressively treat your symptoms in the recovery room in this case. Certain patients who have had severe nausea and vomiting despite previous attempts at prevention with routine IV anti-nausea medication may be candidates for a "scopolomine patch". This small round patch is placed behind the ear preoperatively and is highly effective at preventing nausea and vomiting.
Q. What happens after I wake up?
You will observed be in our recovery room for a period of time by our highly trained PACU R.Ns who will make every effort to keep you comfortable. They will administer any further pain medications and anti nausea medications you may need prior to transferring you either to your hospital room or back to the day stay area if you are an outpatient.
If going home, you should not drive for at least 24 hours and must have another adult at home with you for at least the first 24 hours as well.
Q. Who will manage my pain after I leave the hospital?
Your surgeon will order your pain medication and you will be given the prescription prior to being discharged. If your anesthesiologist has placed a regional nerve block, we will also provide you with written instructions about what to expect from this and when to begin taking your pain medication prescribed by your surgeon.