What to expect on the day of your surgery
Be sure to arrive at your check-in time even if it is a few hours before your scheduled surgery. This time may be required by the hospital staff to prepare you for the operating room.
- You will begin with checking in with the hospital staff.
- At this time staff will confirm your identity and provide you with a hospital wrist band.
- Before you enter the operating room you will be asked to change, use the washroom, and remove hearing aids, glasses and dentures.
- Nurses may give you some medication or start an intravenous line to give you fluids and medication.
- Your surgeon or anesthetist may talk to you before your surgery
- You will either walk into or be taken into the operating room where they will again confirm who you are and what surgery you are having done. The hospital staff perform several safety checks to ensure your wellbeing throughout the surgery.
Anesthesia during surgery
The anesthetic used will depend on the surgery and the hospital you are at. Most surgeries will involve either a local, spinal or general anesthetic.
- Local anesthetic numbs a small, isolated region of the body. It is similar to the freezing you would receive at the dentist’s office.
- Spinal anesthetic is similar to the freezing you get at the dentist, except this freezing goes into your back. This option will make you numb from the chest down and stops you from feeling pain in the numb parts of your body. Along with the spinal anesthetic your anesthesiologist may give you other medication to make you relaxed and sleepy. When you wake up you may not be able to move your legs for several hours, this is normal.
- General anesthetic is a combination of drugs that will keep you unconscious during your surgery.
Anaesthetic drugs may stay in the body for up to 24 hours and you will be impaired during this period. Do not:
- Go to work or do business
- Make significant decisions of any kind
- Drive a car or work with machinery
- Travel alone by public transportation
- Do any strenuous activities
- Drink alcohol
- Take tranquilizers, sedatives, or sleeping pills
- Care for another person such as babies, small children, elderly person who needs help
After your surgery you will be moved from the operating room to the recovery room. While in recovery you may have an oxygen mask and various devices monitoring your vital signs. A nurse will also be close by to monitor your vitals as the anesthetic wears off. You may also be given pain medications while in recovery. The average stay in the recovery will vary but on average a you will only spend a few hours in this room.
What to bring for your stay
When going in for your surgery be sure to plan ahead for your stay. Learn about what to bring, where to park, visiting hours and other amenities or services you may want or need.
Remember to leave valuables at home. This includes jewelry, wallet, electronics, and expensive or restrictive clothing. People are always moving in the hospital and personal items can go missing.