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What should I expect before I go into outpatient surgery?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

There is an organized protocol for all of my patients prior to landing in the operating room. First, the patient will fill out preoperative surgical information sheet, consent forms, and sign anesthesia consents. Next, the patient will be placed into a surgical gown and then enter the preop holding area. At this time, the nurse will take quick history and place the intravenous catheter. Once this is completed, the anesthesiologist will perform his own history, and pertinent physical exam. Finally, the circulating nurse will bring the patient into the operating room and position on the surgical table. With all members of the team in surgery, a time out is performed indicating surgery being performed, allergy history, medications patient on, and intravenous antibiotics given. 

Before ambulatory (or outpatient) surgery, you will meet your anesthesiologist before you go into the operating room. Your anesthesiologist will review your medical and anesthesia history, the results of any laboratory tests and answer any further questions.

Nurses will record your vital signs. Intravenous fluids will be started and preoperative medications given, if needed. Once in the operating room, monitoring devices will be attached such as a blood pressure cuff, electrocardiogram (EKG) and other devices for your safety. At this point, you will be ready for anesthesia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.