The Day of Surgery

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Offers Vital Support to Kidney Cancer Patients

UH Seidman Cancer Center and the Urologic Oncology Center physicians and staff understand that the day of surgery can be stressful. That is why we strive to provide patients with all the necessary information prior to the actual surgery. From the time a patient checks in, we want to make the surgical process as seamless and comfortable as possible. For example, we want our patients to know that it is OK to request a blanket if they feel chilly in the operating room.

Patient Check-In

Patients can check in at the Urologic Oncology Center lobby, located in the Samuel Mather Pavilion at UH Seidman Cancer Center campus located in Cleveland.

Once the patient checks in, he or she will be asked to wait in the lobby. Because this temporary area may be cold, individuals should bring a jacket or sweater so that they are more comfortable. Once the patient is called in by a center staff member, he or she will be taken to a changing room and asked to put on a hospital gown. The individual will then be escorted into the preoperative area.

In the preoperative 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 are feeling cold. The surgical team will introduce themselves to the patient. Then, a preoperative nurse will help the individual prepare for the procedure.

Surgery

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 officially review the surgery 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 bed on wheels 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. Once a patient is asleep, the anesthesia team will continuously monitor the patient throughout the entire surgery.

The surgical team will provide updates to the family during the surgery.

Completed Surgery

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

Recovery

While in the recovery room, patients are often very groggy. The recovery room nurses will closely monitor the individual's vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, and urine output. Patients typically stay 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 Center 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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