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. Ask the staff to adjust the lights or provide a warm blanket for your comfort.
- In general, you will have been asked to come to the hospital around 2 hours prior to surgery in part to allow time to complete all preoperative safety procedures, answer your questions, and provide sedation and regional blocks in time to avoid delaying the start of your surgery. 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.
- Another important part of your care in the RAAPM area is for us to complete a final pre-anesthesia 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. We will then explain your anesthesia options, describe our normal procedures for regional anesthesia and answer any questions you or your family members may have. This will be the time for making a decision about which of the anesthesia options might be best for you, your anesthesiologist, and your surgeon. Importantly, if you have not already done so, you will be asked to sign an anesthesia consent form which states that options have been explained and you understand them. 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 (intravenous) is started in a vein (most likely in your arm) to give fluids and medicines. Numbing medicines may be used prior to placing this IV, and blood tests may also be drawn from this IV and sent to the lab.
- 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. We will ask you to remove your eyeglasses and may ask you to remove your dentures and give them to your family. You may receive some pills with a sip of water at this time to help reduce your pain after surgery. At this point, if appropriate we will give you relaxing medication through your IV (sedation) before the start of any nerve blocks, and it is normal to feel drowsy or dizzy from these medicines.
- 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.