Same-day surgery usually is elective and can range in duration from a few minutes to a few hours. It is frequently performed in the ambulatory surgical center and may use any of the forms of anesthesia: local anesthesia with intravenous sedation, regional nerve blocks, and general anesthesia. These pages include helpful information to prepare you or a loved one for a same-day surgical procedure. If you have any additional questions, be sure to discuss them with your physician or anesthesiologist.
We utilize the anesthesia care team approach consisting of a board-certified anesthesiologist and certified nurse anesthetist who will care for you throughout your stay. Special anesthetic agents and anesthetic techniques are chosen to provide a speedy recovery and allow you to go home soon after your operation is complete.
Same-day surgery usually is elective and can range in duration from a few minutes to a few hours. You will be interviewed prior to the procedure, this evaluation gives you the opportunity to discuss your medical history, various anesthetic options and their risks, and pertinent questions of concern . It also gives you the chance to learn about the many safety precautions your anesthesiologist will provide during your surgery.
You should bring a list of all medications that you take on a regular basis or have taken recently to the preoperative visit. It is best to include the dose information from the medication label on your list. You and your anesthesiologist together will then formulate an anesthetic plan. You will discuss anesthetic choices including risks and benefits. The anesthetic plan will be tailored specifically for you by taking into account your general medical condition, the type of surgical procedure and your preferences. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns that you may have with your anesthesiologist.
For most procedures, you will be told to fast the night before your operation. It is very important that you do not eat or drink anything during that time unless otherwise instructed by your anesthesiologist. This usually takes place several days before the day of surgery.
In the Operating Room
In the operating room, your anesthesiologist is uniquely qualified and personally responsible for directing your anesthetic. Your physical status is closely monitored. Vital functions such as heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, temperature and breathing are managed. A member of the anesthesia care team will be with you throughout your procedure.
Recovery After Surgery
You will be taken to the post-anesthetic care unit. Your anesthesiologist will direct the monitoring and medications to ensure your safe recovery. Your vital functions will be closely monitored by specially trained nurses. Medications to minimize postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting are given as needed. Nausea and vomiting tend to be less of a problem today because of improved anesthetic agents and techniques although it still occurs quite often. When you are ready, you will be offered something to drink. A family member or friend may be allowed to be with you, and you will be assisted in getting up. Most patients are ready to go home between 1-2 hours after surgery. Oral and written instructions will be given. You will also be given a telephone number to call if you have any concerns when you get home. In general, for the first 24 hours after your anesthesia:
- Do not drink alcohol or use nonprescription medication
- Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery
- Do not make important decisions
- You may not be left alone that first day
Be prepared to go home and continue your recovery there. Patients may experience drowsiness or minor side effects such as muscle aches, sore throat, headaches and mild nausea. These usually decline rapidly in the hours following surgery. Most patients do not feel up to their usual activities the next day. Plan to take it easy for a few days. The following day you will be contacted to see how you feel and if there are any problems.
Each patient should be given his or her own instructions. Please note that if you eat or drink when you were not supposed to, you could markedly increase the risks of anesthesia. Please follow your instructions very carefully. See sections on Anesthesia Frequently Asked Questions and preparing for Surgery.
Some medications should be taken and others should not. It is important to discuss this with your physicians. Please bring all your medications with you on the day of surgery.
You must make arrangements for a responsible adult to take you home after your surgery. You will not be able to drive yourself home. You may not be alone the first 24 hours.
Many patients are apprehensive about anesthesia and surgery. If you are well informed, you will be better prepared and more relaxed. Talk with your anesthesiologist and ask questions. Your anesthesiologist is your advocate and is experienced in making your surgery and recovery as safe and comfortable as possible.