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What to Expect for Surgery

What to expect before the day of your procedure.
In addition to the instructions your surgeon will provide you, it is important that you not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your procedure. Having an empty stomach before undergoing anesthesia helps ensure your safety. During anesthesia your muscles relax, and normal reflexes such as coughing do not function. You are more likely than normal to have stomach contents pass up to the mouth and enter your windpipe, possibly reaching your lungs. If this happens serious complications may occur. If your stomach is empty, this is much less likely to happen.

What to expect the day of your procedure.
After being admitted to the facility you will meet your anesthesiologist. He will review your medical history, discuss the anesthetic plan, and answer all your questions. Most surgeries are done under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. Multiple factors including the type and duration of surgery, your medical history, your personal preference, and the opinion of the surgeon and anesthesiologist, will influence the anesthetic plan. In addition you may be offered regional anesthesia to help with post-operative pain (see Frequently Asked Questions for more details). In the operating room you will be given supplemental oxygen and monitors will be used to monitor your blood pressure, heart rhythm, and breathing. Your anesthesiologist will be present with you throughout the entire surgery from beginning to end. When the procedure is complete you will be taken to the post-procedure area where you will be monitored until you are ready to go home.

What to expect after your procedure.
Your recovery from surgery and anesthesia depends on a number of factors including the type and duration of surgery and anesthetic. You will wake up in the recovery room where you will closely monitored until you can go home. Although most patients wake up relatively comfortable, you may feel groggy, nauseous, or have some discomfort. If you are not comfortable when you wake up, notify the medical staff and we will make every effort fix the problem. When you are comfortable and ready, we will give you some light food and drink. When you are tolerating that, we will remove your IV and get you ready to go home. Although you may feel normal, you should not drive, operate machinery, or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours after your procedure.

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