Getting Ready to Go to the Operating Room
Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management Area.
When you arrive at the hospital, plan to park in the closest lot, parking lot “B” and proceed to the Surgical Sciences Waiting Area ( printable Map ). One or 2 family members may come with you to the hospital. Check in with the receptionist. A staff member will call your name and escort you to the Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management (RAAPM) Area where you will change into a gown, have your anesthesia started, and wait to go into the OR where your surgery will be performed. The one or 2 family members accompanying you may wait with you in the RAAPM Area, keeping you company until it is time for you to have your blocks placed and again until it is time to have your surgery. Ask the staff to adjust the lights or provide a warm blanket for your comfort.
•Several personnel will double check all your paper work and confirm and reconfirm the site and side of your surgery, your allergies, and parts of your medical history. An attending or resident surgeon will mark the site and side of your body on which you are having surgery, using a non-permanent pen mark and his or her initials. You will be asked “which side?” and other information many times before surgery as part of important initiatives for your safety. In general, you will have been asked to come to the hospital around 2 hours prior to surgery in part to allow time to get all these safety procedures accomplished at a time when our attention can be devoted to your care— even before surgery.
•Another important part of your care in the RAAPM area is to explain your options and our normal procedures for regional anesthesia and to complete a final preoperative assessment including a brief exam. Sometimes we’ll be giving you information you may have heard before when you were discussing surgery with your surgeon or with personnel in the Preoperative Assessment Clinic. It is also common to be asked to repeat or go into more detail about aspects of your medical history. Importantly, you will often be asked to sign an anesthesia consent form which states that options have been explained and you understand them. This is the time for making a decision about which of the options might be best for you, your anesthesiologist, and your surgeon. You will usually be asked if you will consent to blood transfusion if it is absolutely needed for medical reasons during your surgery. This does not mean that we know such a transfusion is planned or even likely, but rather that we have documented your wishes as a matter of our routine.
•An IV is started in a vein (most likely in your arm) to give fluids and medicines. Numbing medicines will be used prior to placing this IV. At the same time of IV placement, blood tests may be drawn to save you another needle poke later.
•If you have chosen regional anesthesia, and before you receive sedation, the RAAPM physicians will also perform a safety check and confirm the surgical site with you and mark the side for your nerve blocks. You may receive some pills with a sip of water at this time to help reduce your pain after surgery. At that point, we will give you medicine to help you relax. You may feel dizzy or drowsy. This is normal. Before you get drowsy, we will ask you to remove your eyeglasses and may ask you to remove your dentures and give them to your family. We will make you drowsy before we administer any nerve blocks unless you request otherwise.
•It is normal for us to sedate you and place nerve blocks well in advance of your surgery. This is to ensure that the start of your surgery is not delayed and we have plenty of time to take care of you. Your family members will leave for these medical procedures. Unless you request otherwise, your family members may rejoin you after sedation and nerve blocks while you await surgery.
•Before you leave the RAAPM area for surgery, the orders and plans for your post-operative pain management will be placed in the computer if members of the RAAPM team will be helping your surgeons manage your pain relief after surgery.