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Day of Surgery- What to Expect

  • Report to the hospital at your scheduled time of surgery, as determined by your conversation with the OR on the day prior to your surgery. This time could be as early as 5:45 AM. Plan your travel arrangements accordingly. Avoid wearing any body lotion or make-up.
  • Any final paperwork will be completed in the Admitting Office. Those accompanying you can wait with you in Admitting. This wait can be variable, particularly if you are not the first case in the morning. The surgeons estimate the time they will need for each surgery, but these are only estimates. Some cases may take longer than expected; others may be shorter.
  • From the Admitting Office, you will be brought to the pre-operative area. Your family will not be allowed into the pre-operative area. (The only exception will be for young children: an adult may accompany the child until he/she has been anesthetized.). In pre-op, you will change into a hospital gown. Your clothing and other personal items will travel with you from the operating room area to your assigned room. An anesthesiologist and a member of the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine will interview you. You will be asked many questions, and you will find that each team member may ask some of the same questions. Repetition of some questions is an important part of the precautions we take to insure that your surgery is performed accurately and safely.
  • From the pre-operative area, a stretcher will bring you to the “holding area” on the second floor, next to the surgical suite. You will have an IV placed and some medications may be started at this time. From the holding area, a member of the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine staff will bring you into the operating room. In the operating room you will be placed on the OR table and put to sleep.
  • Following surgery you will spend some time in the recovery room (PACU). This is a very busy area, and it is important to maintain sterility, confidentiality and safety. Thus, visitors are allowed in this area during the day only at limited and specified times. From the PACU, you will usually be transferred to a regular floor. (Occasionally, patients with very extensive surgery are transferred to the ICU for a period of time.). Usually transfer to a regular floor occurs the same day or the day following surgery (depending on how extensive your surgery is and the time of day your surgery is completed). If you must remain in the PACU overnight, there are limited visiting hours in the late evening.
  • Parents can stay with their children in the unit and also when they are moved to the floor.
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