After your operation, you will be taken to the recovery room until you are
safely awake and recovered from the effects of anesthesia. The recovery room
nurse provides constant care. He or she will take your blood pressure and pulse
every 15 minutes, check your dressing (if you have one) and your IV. In most
cases, oxygen will be given by way of a small short tube placed under your nose
or through an oxygen mask. The recovery room nurse will ask you to take deep
breaths and cough. This will help expand your lungs to prevent complications
such as pneumonia. You will be asked to move your feet and hands as part of
the recovery process.
Your level of comfort will also be carefully evaluated by your nurse. Medications
will be available if you have pain or discomfort.
As the anesthetic wears off, noises may sound louder than usual. You may have
blurred vision, a dry mouth, shaking or feel cold. Warm blankets and a moist
cloth to wet your lips will be available along with other measures to keep you
comfortable and safe.
Your doctor will usually talk with your family to let them know how you are
doing. Visitors are not allowed in the recovery room.
The amount of time spent in the recovery room will vary depending on several
factors including the type of operation you had and the type of anesthetic.
The minimum recovery room stay is one hour. Many patients express concern about
things they may say while they are under the anesthetic or are regaining consciousness.
Actually, patients talk very little during this time, so there is little need
for concern. Confidentiality is always maintained.