Day of Surgery
Before the Operation
When you arrive at the hospital, after you register, you will be taken to a private area where you will be allowed to change into a hospital gown, talk further with the Nursing personnel, have an intravenous line started, and receive any necessary medications. These may include antibiotics and a small amount of blood thinner medicine, given under the skin, to diminish the risk of post-op complications. You should have had nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the day of surgery (unless otherwise instructed by the Surgery Scheduler or your physician). You may also be instructed at this time in the use of an "incentive spirometer", which will help you to exercise your lungs and take deep breaths after surgery.
In the Operating Room
When you are transported to the Operating Room, you will then meet your anesthesiologist, and he or she will discuss your health history with you, and plan with you for the appropriate type or types of anesthesia for surgery. When you are transported to the Operating Room itself, small electrocardiogram pads will be placed on your chest and back, as well as other monitoring equipment necessary for maximizing your safety during surgery. You will then receive medication which will put you to sleep. After you are completely anesthetized, a catheter will be placed in the bladder, a small amount of the abdomen will be shaved and the operation will begin.
After the Operation
When you wake up from the surgery, you will be in the Recovery Room, and you will likely have very little discomfort. You will generally stay in the Recovery Room for 1 to 2 hours before being taken to your room. No visitors are permitted in the Recovery Room area.
Once you are transported to your hospital room, you will be placed in a bed, and made comfortable with either an "epidural catheter", which is a small tube that allows the administration of pain medicine just outside your spinal cord, or a "patient-controlled anesthesia" device, which allows you to push a button and obtained an instantaneous dose of pain reliever given intravenously. You will also be given fluids intravenously, and have a catheter in the bladder to drain off urine, so that you will not have to leave your bed to urinate. Even on the same day you have had surgery, you may get out of bed, with the assistance of the nursing personnel.