What will happen before my surgery?
You will meet your anesthesiologist, and other members of the anesthesia care team, before you go into the operating room. The anesthesiologist will examine you, and review your medical and anesthesia history and the results of any laboratory tests. The anesthesiologist will explain to you the type of anesthesia you will undergo, and will answer any further questions you may have. The anesthetist that you meet prior to surgery may or may not be the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist directly delivering your care, however the information that you provide will be directly communicated to your anesthesia care provider prior to your surgery.
Nurses will record your vital signs, and your surgeon or an associate will visit with you, completing any necessary evaluations or paperwork. Intravenous fluids will usually be started and preoperative medications given as needed. Once in the operating room, monitoring devices will be attached such as a blood pressure cuff, EKG and other devices for your safety. At this point, you will be ready for anesthesia.
What will happen during surgery?
Upon arrival to the operating room, you will be greeted by your surgical and anesthesia team. You will either be asked to move to the operating table or you will be moved by the team members present if you require assistance. Once you are on the operating table various monitors will be placed on your body in order to assist with monitoring your vital signs while you are under anesthesia and undergoing your scheduled surgery. Once the appropriate monitors are applied, your anesthesia care team member will begin to administer the type of anesthetic that is most appropriate for you and your scheduled surgery (please see section titled “Types of Anesthesia” for details on the available types of anesthesia).
Once the appropriate anesthetic has been administered, the surgical area will be cleaned and prepared for surgery, and the surgery will be initiated. While you are undergoing surgery, your vital signs and surgery progress will be continuously monitored and documented by a member of the anesthesia care team. Specifically, your blood pressure, heart rhythm and oxygen levels will be most closely followed, and adjustments will be made in order to ensure your safety and comfort.
If you are undergoing a long surgery, your family members will likely receive occasional updates on the progress of your surgery.
Once your surgery is completed, the anesthesia care team member will make the appropriate decisions on the continuation of your care based on various factors, and your surgeon will likely update family members on the status of your surgery.