Day of Your Surgery
Safe surgeries take time to prepare for and recover from. When making arrangements for the day of your surgery, you should plan to arrive at the hospital 1–2 hours prior to your procedure.
When you arrive, you will need to check in at the Admitting Desk and then go to the Surgery Waiting area and check in with the receptionist.
If your procedure is same-day, you will be recovering 1–4 hours following. A pre-operative consultation nurse can help you understand your time commitments so you can plan accordingly.
Types of Anesthesia
In addition to one of the three main kinds of anesthesia, you may be given a mild sedative to help you feel calm and pleasant while you are waiting for your surgery. Your anesthetist will review the risks of anesthesia with you. There are several minor complications you might experience, including nausea, vomiting, some bruising, headaches or muscle pain. Keep in mind that it takes at least 24 hours for the drugs to leave your system after your surgery and the effects will gradually wear off with the drug.
Local Anesthesia —numbs only a small part of your body. It is typically injected near the site where you will have surgery and is most commonly used for simple procedures such as removing a skin growth or stitching a cut.
Regional Anesthesia —numbs a larger area of your body and is used for more extensive procedures. Two types of regional anesthesia include spinal and epidural. Spinal anesthesia is administered directly into the fluid-filled space around your spinal cord. Epidural anesthesia is injected just outside of the spinal fluid. With epidural anesthesia a thin tube may be left at the site of injection to treat pain for several days after your surgery. Both types of regional anesthesia numb the lower part of your body for surgeries such as leg, prostate or bladder. A femoral nerve block is another form of regional anesthesia. A local anesthetic is applied to the femoral nerve via a catheter to numb the thigh and leg during surgery. This technique can provide pain relief for several days after the surgery, until the catheter is removed.
General Anesthesia —is given by inhaling anesthetic from a face mask, via your IV, or a combination of the two. This type of anesthesia places you in a state of controlled unconsciousness and will prevent you from remembering your surgery. Once you are asleep, a breathing tube may be inserted in your throat to help control your breathing during surgery.