What happens right after my surgery?

While in the operating room, you will be transferred to a special bed, then wheeled to the recovery room. There, nurses check your blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate. Medications for pain or nausea may be administered. Since many patients feel slightly disoriented after surgery, your nurse will first assure you that the surgery is complete and that you are safely in the recovery room. She will then encourage you to wake up, move your arms and legs and offer refreshments such as water or fruit juice. As soon as you are comfortable, your family member or friend may join you. It is important to communicate with your nurse and let her know if you need pain medication or have special concerns.

How will I feel?

Most patients feel a bit groggy, light-headed, dizzy, sore and slightly nauseated. How you feel depends on the complexity of your procedure, how long you were in the operating room, your pain threshold and what type of anesthesia you were given. Each person responds differently to surgery and the effects of anesthesia.

How soon can I return home?

Once your vital signs are normal, you feel comfortable and alert, and your nurse determines that your condition meets all discharge criteria, you may return home when you feel ready. You may not be completely pain free. Most patients spend an average of 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours in the recovery room. The time may vary depending on the type of anesthesia used, the length of time spent in the operating room, and your individual response.

What if I don't feel ready to go home?

Once all discharge criteria are met, you may return home at any time. If you wish to remain at the center a bit longer, however, simply ask your nurse. She will be glad to discuss this option with you.

We do recommend that you leave before the effects of your anesthesia wear off completely. This helps reduce pain for the trip home, and allows you to fall asleep more easily and rest more comfortably once you return home. Studies show that the familiar surroundings of home actually help speed recovery and reduce the need for pain medication.

What happens when I'm discharged?

Once you feel alert and comfortable, you will be asked to get dressed. Before being escorted to your car, we review your homecare instructions with you and give you a copy for easy reference. You will also be given any prescriptions for any pain medications recommended by your doctor. While you rest in the recovery room, we will be happy to direct your friend or family member to a pharmacy to fill your prescription.

You may or may not feel sick to your stomach while driving home. Slight nausea may be experienced as a side effect of anesthesia. If you begin to feel sick, stop the car, roll down your window and allow yourself a breath of fresh air.

What should I do when I get home?

To hasten your recovery, we recommend that you rest comfortably as soon as you get home. Patients typically feel sleepy most of the day. You may begin your regular diet and resume normal activity when you and your doctor determine you are ready. The day after your procedure, a nurse from Oklahoma Surgicare will call to find out how you are doing.

What should I do if I have a problem?

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to call Oklahoma Surgicare during regular business hours at 755-6240 or call your physician. If you feel your condition is an emergency, contact your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

What specific homecare instructions should I follow?

Written Post-Operative Home Care Instructions will be given to you before leaving the surgery center. Please follow these instructions carefully. Be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.