The Day of Surgery

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Answers Patient Questions and Calms Concerns

UH Seidman Cancer Center physicians and staff understand that the day of surgery can be stressful for patients and family members. Therefore, our expert team provides individuals with all of the necessary information prior to the procedure.

From checking in to entering the operating room, we want to make the surgical process as smooth as possible. At UH Seidman Cancer Center, patient comfort and peace of mind are among our top priorities.

Patient Check-In

A patient should arrive at UH Seidman Cancer Center several hours before his or her scheduled time and can check in at the Urologic Oncology Center lobby located in the Mather Building.

Once the patient checks in, he or she will be asked to wait in the lobby. The temperature may be cool in this temporary waiting area, so the patient is advised to bring a jacket or sweater so he or she is comfortable. Once the patient’s name is called by one of UH Seidman Cancer Center staff, the individual will be taken into a changing room and asked to put on a hospital gown. The patient will then be escorted into the preoperative area.

In this area, an intravenous catheter (IV) will be started in the patient's arm or hand. During this period of time, patients should request a blanket if they feel cold.

The surgical team will introduce themselves to the patient. A preoperative nurse will assist in preparing the individual for the procedure.


A member from the anesthesia team and the surgical team, both of whom will be with the patient throughout the entire surgery, will greet and introduce themselves to the patient.

Team members might 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 UH Seidman Cancer Center surgical team member will officially review the surgery and ask the patient to sign a consent form, which allows the team to continue with the procedure.

Operating Suite

Once a patient is waiting in the UH Seidman Cancer Center operating suite, he or she will be transported by a bed with wheels. A UH staff member will direct a patient's loved ones to the family waiting area where they will receive a pager. Guests in the suite should help themselves to fresh coffee.

UH Seidman Cancer Center team members, who will be wearing surgical attire, will greet patients in the operating suite. It can be very cold in this area, so patients are advised to request a warm blanket if necessary.

The patient will then be moved from the bed on wheels to the operating table. At this time, the anesthesia team will place stickers on the patient's arms, legs and chest that allow the surgical team to monitor the heart throughout the surgery. The nurse will place stockings on the patient's legs to prevent blood clots. The anesthesiologist administers medication to the patient to begin putting the individual to sleep, with the patient fully aware that this is happening before the process begins. A patient will then receive an oxygen mask over his or her face while he or she falls asleep. Once the individual is sleeping, the anesthesia team will monitor the patient at all times.

Completed Surgery

Once the surgery is complete, a UH team member will transfer the patient to the recovery room. The UH Seidman Cancer Center surgeon will then speak with the patient's family and friends.


While in the recovery room, patients will feel very groggy. Nurses will closely monitor the individual’s vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, oxygenation and urine output. A patient's stay in the recovery room is usually about two hours.

Hospital Room

Once a patient is transported to a hospital room, the UH Seidman Cancer Center nurse will monitor the individual's vital signs. Nurses will give patients the pain medications ordered by their Urologic Oncology Center surgeon.

Most patients experience some amount of discomfort following surgery; however, the pain they feel should be tolerable. UH Seidman Cancer Center surgeons suggest that a good way for patients to gauge their discomfort is to see if they can fall asleep without the pain interfering. If the pain is unbearable, the patient should alert a nurse so that he or she can administer additional pain medication.

Incentive Spirometer

Patients will be given a plastic devise called an incentive spirometer, which helps expand their lungs while preventing fever and pneumonia. It is extremely important that patients use this device up to 10 times an hour while awake.

During this time, UH Seidman Cancer Center nursing team continues to monitor the patient's vital signs, comfort level and any additional needs periodically throughout the night.

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