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Sanford Same Day Surgery
The day of surgery
Once you have been prepared for surgery, an intravenous line (IV) will be started if necessary. The anesthesiologist will visit with you to discuss the type of anesthesia you will receive. Practice taking deep breaths before surgery. This will help blow off the anesthesia and keep your lungs clear.
When you arrive in your surgical room, everything will be explained to you.
- The surgical room will be very bright.
- You will lie down on the operating table and a safety belt will be paced above your knees.
- Electrodes or EKG patches will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart.
- An automatic blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm.
- A small clip called a pulse oximeter will be placed on your index finger to monitor your oxygen level.
- The medication given through your IV may cause blurred vision and you may have a strange taste in your mouth.
- You will feel comfortable while you close your eyes and go to sleep.
The type of anesthesia you receive depends on your general health, the type of surgical procedure and your preference, when possible. There are three types of anesthesia that can be used by the anesthesia care team to keep you safe and comfortable.
- General anesthesia puts your entire body to sleep for surgery.
- Regional anesthesia involves numbing particular regions of your body. Other IV medication may be given to make you drowsy.
- Monitored anesthesia may involve injections of a small area with a local anesthetic, as well as the use of IV medication to make you drowsy.
Thanks to anesthesia, you will not feel any pain during your procedure.
Our goal is to control your pain and keep you comfortable. It may not be possible to eliminate your pain completely; however, your pain should not interfere with the activity, other therapies and rest that you need to heal.
A pain scale may be used to describe your pain level. If "0" means no pain and "10" means the worst pain you have ever felt, how would you rate what you feel? You may be asked often to rate your pain on this scale. Tell your nurse if your pain level has stayed the same or has increased.
Medications take time to work. Unless your pain is near "0," make certain to ask for your next dose before the last one wears off.
Everyone feels and reacts to pain in a different way. Pain relief plays a big part in your recovery. Post-operative pain can be controlled so you feel more comfortable. To do this, the nurses need to know how well pain relief measures are working for you.
The following methods of pain management are used to relieve post-op pain:
- Pain pills relieve pain throughout your body. They take about 30 minutes to work.
- Injections relieve pain throughout your body. They are given under the skin or into the muscle.
- IVs relieve pain within minutes. Medication is given through your IV into a vein.
- Patient-controlled anesthesia allows for more constant levels of pain relief. You give yourself pain medication by pushing a button.
- Epidurals give pain medication through a catheter into your lower back. Epidurals can control severe pain following hip, knee, chest or abdominal surgery.
- Spinal medication is given to block pain in a specific area. Your body will feel numb from the injected area and below.
- After surgery, you will be taken to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) or back to your room in Same Day Surgery where your blood pressure, pulse and respirations will be monitored.
- Your vision will be blurred as you awaken and you will be encouraged to take deep breaths to help blow off the anesthetic medication.
- The nurse will be checking your surgical area and IV site frequently, along with your blood pressure, pulse, respirations and temperature.
- Depending on the type of anesthesia and/or surgery, you may wake up with a mask over your mouth and nose or tubing by your nose, providing fresh air with extra oxygen.
- Deep breathing is important. Not only does it help you feel better, but it also keeps your oxygen at the right level.
- How long you stay in PACU will depend upon the surgical procedure and type of anesthesia.
- For the privacy and confidentiality of all our patients, family members and visitors are asked to stay in the waiting room. They will be notified when you are transferred back to your room.
- When you return to Same Day Surgery, you will be given something to eat and drink.
- Approximately one to one-and-a-half hours after surgery, you should be able to go home. However, each patient is different and response varies depending on the type of surgery. Before you leave, a Same Day Surgery staff member will explain the recovery process and go over your written instructions to follow at home.
- A clinic appointment and a prescription for medication may be given to you to take home.
- A responsible adult other than yourself must drive you home. You will not be allowed to take a bus, a taxi or to go home unless you are accompanied by another adult.
- For 24 hours following surgery, you may not drive, operate any type of machinery, drink alcoholic beverages or take medication not prescribed by your doctor.
- A responsible adult should remain with you for 24 hours after surgery and should care for your children during this time.
- If any questions or problems come up after you are home, please call Sanford Health at 701.323.6000 and the operator will contact your doctor.
Managing pain at home
- Be sure to take your medication only as directed. If your pain is not relieved or gets worse, call your doctor.
- Remember that pain pills take at least 20-30 minutes to work.
- Take your pain pills before an activity such as getting dressed.
- Increase the amount of fluids, fruits and vegetables in your diet. Constipation is a side effect of some pain medication.