A special surgical team helps the surgeon
with your surgery. This team usually includes:
- A surgical technician (scrub), who passes
instruments to the surgeon.
registered nurse, who helps in many ways and writes
the details of your surgery in your medical chart.
- A nurse
anesthesiologist, who gives you medicines and monitors
your vital signs.
- Other medical personnel, such as an X-ray
technologist, who may be needed for your surgery.
- Another surgeon
to help your primary surgeon, if needed.
In university or teaching hospitals, doctors with different
levels of surgical training may watch or help with your surgery. But your
surgeon will be in charge.
The surgical team is trained to provide
you with safe care during your surgery. Before they start, the team members will double-check your name, what type of surgery you are there for, and what part of your body is to be operated on.
If you are having
general anesthesia, a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) is placed in your windpipe or a
special airway (laryngeal mask airway, or LMA) is placed in the back of your
throat to help you breathe during the surgery. For more information, see the
Keeping things sterile
The place on your skin where the
incision will be is washed with a special solution to remove bacteria. All
instruments used during your surgery are sterilized to reduce your risk of
Pain control is an important concern. Near
the end of your surgery, your surgeon may inject a long-acting pain medicine at
the site of your surgery to decrease your pain for 6 to 12 hours after
In the recovery area
Right after surgery, you will
be taken to a recovery area where nurses will care for and observe you. A nurse
will check your vital signs and bandages. He or she will also ask about your
When you wake up, you may have a small
tube just below your nose that supplies oxygen to your lungs.
You will most likely stay in the recovery area
for 1 to 4 hours. Then you will be moved to a hospital room or you will go
home. You may receive medicine or fluids through your vein (intravenous, or IV) during your time in the