For Teens (11 and up):
We are here to help you understand what is going to happen on your day of surgery.
On your day of surgery, you and your parents will need to go to the Ambulatory Surgery Center one hour before your surgery time. This is so the nurses have enough time to talk with your parents and get you ready.
The nurse will talk with your parents and then take you and your parents back to the pre-op area. The pre-op room is where the nurse will finish getting you ready for surgery. You will change into hospital pajamas or a hospital gown, and then the nurse will check your temperature, pulse, and your blood pressure, which are called your vital signs.
Once the nurse has finished checking your vital signs and with asking all of the necessary questions, it will be time for her to start an IV. IV stands for “intravenous” meaning in the vein. The IV is a very small plastic straw that is placed in the vein so that your body can be given a drink of water and medicine. A needle is what helps the small plastic straw get under the skin, but the needle does not stay in. Before the nurse places your IV, there are different ways the nurse can help make the area less sensitive. To place the IV, the nurse will first look at your hands and arms while a stretchy rubber band is tied around your arm, which helps the nurse see your veins better. When the right spot has been found, the nurse will then clean the area. You may feel a little poke when the needle goes in. The little straw that stays in you will be connected with some tubing to a bag of water and then it will be taped in place. The Child Life Specialist, Anesthesiologist, Surgeon, and OR nurse will then come to visit you in this room.
Once you have met everyone, the Anesthesiologist and OR nurse will take you to the operating room. Then, you will move onto the bed in the OR. Then three stickers will be placed on your chest (EKG leads), sticky piece of tape with a red light will be placed on your finger (a pulse oximeter), and a blood pressure cuff will be put on your arm. These are used to monitor you while you are having surgery. The Anesthesiologist will then give you medicine through the IV to fall asleep. The Anesthesiologist make sure you fall asleep and stay asleep, that you don’t feel, hear, or see anything, and that you wake up when you are all done.
The next thing you know, you will be waking up in the recovery room. The nurse will bring your parents to be with you while you are resting. It is normal to feel dizzy or sleepy when you first start to wake up. When the nurse and doctor say you are ready and if you are not staying overnight, then you will be able to go home. The nurse will take all of the monitors off and will take the IV out. A band-aid or piece of gauze and tape will be placed where the IV was removed. You can then get dressed in your clothes and will be taken out to the car in a wheelchair. Your parents will be given instructions on how to take care of you while you are getting better.
This is a lot of information about having surgery. If you have questions, ask them. We want you to understand as best as you can. So ask your parents, doctors, or even the Child Life specialist all of your questions and tell them what you are worried about.
We look forward to seeing you on your surgery day!
Tucson Medical Center
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