The time you spend in surgery is
known as the intraoperative period. A special surgical team helps the surgeon
with your surgery. This team usually includes:
- A surgical technician (scrub), who passes
instruments to the surgeon. Your surgeon may also have an office assistant who
regularly helps in surgery.
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. The team members will do a safety check (safety pause) before starting your surgery.
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 on anesthesia, see the
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 also 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