Preparing for Surgery: The Operating Room
What to expect the day of surgery
On the day of surgery, you will meet with the medical team involved in your surgery. This will include:
- Your surgeon
- The anesthesiologist
- An operating room nurse
- Other healthcare providers
Getting ready for surgery
Before your surgery:
You may need to change into a hospital gown.
You will get an ID bracelet.
An intravenous catheter (IV) may be put in arm or hand. This is used to give you anesthetics and other medicines.
You may be rolled to the operating room on a stretcher.
What does the operating room look like?
The operating room can be an overwhelming place. The room will likely be cold. This is to minimize bacterial growth. It will have a lot of technical equipment. You may see equipment such as:
Operating table. This is in the center of the room. It can be raised, lowered, and tilted in any direction.
Operating room lamps. These allow for bright light without shadows during surgery.
Monitor screens. You will be connected to various monitors. These keep track of your vital signs. These include your heart rate, oxygen level, and blood pressure.
Ventilator. This is a breathing machine. It stands by the head of the operating table. If your procedure is done with general anesthesia, you may have a ventilator will breathe for you during the procedure. It moves oxygen and air in and out of your lungs.
Sterile instruments. These are small tools to be used during surgery. They are arranged on a stainless steel table.
- Video screen. If the procedure is laparoscopic, there will be a video screen for the surgeon to be able to see the area of the surgery.
Diathermy machine. This is to control bleeding.
Other equipment. If needed, other specialized equipment may be brought into the room. For example, your team may use a heart-lung machine during heart surgery.