The Surgical Procedure

Surgical Procedures at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center

Patients who are about to undergo a surgical procedure typically want to know how the surgery will proceed once they are inside the operating room. UH Seidman Cancer Center physicians have outlined the typical surgical process below so that individuals can be more comfortable and at ease on the day of surgery. Our physicians aim to provide the finest, most compassionate care by supporting patients and families through each step of the adrenal cancer treatment process.

The Surgical Process

A member from the anesthesia team and the surgical team will be with the patient throughout the entire surgery. After introducing themselves to the patient, these team members may ask questions like:

  • Do you have any allergies?
  • What are we doing for you today?
  • Which side are we operating on?
  • Who is your surgeon?

A member of the surgical team will review the surgical procedure with the patient and ask him or her to sign a consent form, which will allow the team to proceed with the treatment.

Operating Suite

When the patient is taken to the operating suite, he or she will be transported on a bed with wheels. The patient's family and/or friends will be directed to the family waiting area to check in with the hosts and obtain a pager. Guests in the suite should help themselves to fresh coffee.

Patients in the operating suite will be greeted by UH team members who will be wearing masks and hats. It can be very cold in the operating suite, so individuals should not hesitate to request a warm blanket if necessary.

The patient will be asked to move from the hospital bed to the operating table. At this time, the anesthesia team will be working around him or her, placing stickers on the patient's arms, legs and chest so the heart can be monitored throughout the surgery. The nurse will place stockings on the patient's legs to prevent blood clots. The anesthesiologist then administers medication through the patient's IV to begin assisting him or her to sleep. The individual will be fully aware of what is happening before the process begins. The nurse will put a mask over the patient's face to help him or her take in oxygen while falling asleep.

Throughout the entire surgery, the anesthesia team continuously monitors the patient. The surgical team also provides updates to the family on the patient's status during this time.

Recovery

Once the surgery is complete, the patient is awakened in the operating room and then transferred to the recovery room. The UH Seidman Cancer Center surgeon will then speak with the individual's family and friends to discuss when the surgical process is complete and the patient's postsurgery status.

While in the recovery room, patients are often very groggy. The recovery room nurses closely monitor the individual’s vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level and urine output. Patients typically remain in the recovery room for about two hours.

Hospital Room

Once a patient is transported to the hospital room, a UH Seidman Cancer Center nurse takes care of the individual and continues to check his or her vital signs. The nurse will give the patient the prescribed medications that the Urologic Oncology Center surgeon has ordered.

Most patients experience some amount of discomfort after surgery; however, it should be tolerable. UH Seidman Cancer surgeons suggest that a good way for a patient to gauge his or her discomfort is to see if he or she can close his or her eyes and fall asleep without the pain interfering. If the pain is not tolerable, the individual should notify the nurse so that additional pain medications can be administered.

Incentive Spirometer

The patient will be given a plastic device called an incentive spirometer. It is extremely important that he or she uses this device up to 10 times an hour while he or she is awake. The purpose of the incentive spirometer is to help expand the lungs and also to prevent fevers and pneumonia. During this time, the nursing team continues to monitor the patient's vital signs and comfort level periodically throughout the night.

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