Your Procedure » Day of Surgery

This is your big day! You will arrive about an hour before your surgery start time.  Your surgery will either be at Madison Tower Surgery Center which is adjacent to my office or at Seattle Surgery Center which is one block away.  The location of your surgery will be clearly indicated on your pre-operative instruction sheet. 

The nurse will check you in and then I will see you, answer any questions you may have and do any necessary marking of the operative site. You will meet the anesthesiologist who will answer any questions you may have about anesthesia. We also would like to meet your caregiver before surgery and let them know what to expect when they see you in the recovery room. If your surgery is several hours in duration, we can give your caregiver some ideas how to while away the time in our beautiful city of Seattle.

Once in the operating room, the nursing staff and anesthesiologist will attend to getting you comfortable on the operating table.  Don’t be alarmed if you are asked your name, your surgeon and your procedure several times. Our memories are just fine but this checking and double checking is part of our safety protocol!   Our staff and anesthesiologist will place EKG pads on your chest or back, a blood pressure cuff on your arm, some massage stockings on your legs and get you tucked in with a warm, comfy blanket. We’ll even put a nice, warm hat on your head to help keep you warm. The anesthesiologist will start an intravenous line in your hand or arm and administer medications to help you relax.  If you don’t see my masked face hovering around, don’t worry.  I’m just outside the door scrubbing my hands.

While you are drifting off to sleep, I’m scrubbing.

If you have had a general anesthetic, you will have very little appreciation for the passage of time. You may wake up wondering when we’re going to start only to hear from us that we are already done! If you have had intravenous sedation and local or spinal anesthetic, you may be just a little groggy.

You will be observed for an hour or so before you are discharged. The nurse will go over post-operative instructions with you and your caregiver. If you have had any sedation, you must go home with a responsible adult. Don’t plan on going home by yourself in a taxi. We won’t let you!

Occasionally, we will have you hire a nursing service to stay with you the first 24 hours. 

Once you are home or at your hotel, you should plan on spending the rest of the day and that first evening resting in bed or in a recliner.  Getting up to use the bathroom or getting something light to eat and drink is fine but please give yourself permission to rest.  You may feel fine but remember that you have just had surgery.

Keep on top of any post-surgical pain.  Don’t wait until you are really hurting to take your pain medication.  And remember to always have something light to eat with your pain medications.  This helps prevent nausea.  Take all of your medication as prescribed.  If you have questions about your medication, give our office or your pharmacist a call.

If you have had facial surgery, I will likely see you the next day.  For breast and body procedures, I will likely see you within a  few days of surgery.  If you are staying at a hotel near my office, I often will make arrangements to see you there.  And, I have even been known to make a house call now and then.  I actually have a black doctor’s bag!

See my blogs about postoperative care for more information.

Questions?  I’m just a phone call away.  206 467-1101.