What Happens: On the Day of Surgery and During Your Hospital Stay?
April 13, 2017 by Dr. Joung H. Lee, M.D.0
- First of all, in preparation for surgery, you will be instructed to discontinue any blood thinners (such as Aspirin, Advil Coumadin, Plavix, etc.) from 3 to 7 days prior to surgery. If this instruction is not followed, your surgery will be canceled.
- You will be instructed to not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the morning of surgery. On the day of surgery, you may take important medications with minimal sips of water (such as medications for hypertension).
- You will be asked to come into the hospital 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.
- Just prior to being taken into the operating room (OR), you will meet your surgeon again to go over any last minute questions or concerns you may have, and also meet your anesthesiologist.
- Once in the OR, your anesthesiologist and the OR nursing personnel will do a “time out” to confirm your identification and the scheduled surgery to be performed, followed by preparing you for general anesthesia and surgery, including starting 2 IV lines, an arterial line if needed and a Foley catheter if needed (for bladder emptying during surgery). Then, you will “go to sleep” after having an endotracheal tube inserted.
- Surgery will then begin by the surgeon with positioning of the body and the head appropriate for the particular surgery you are having. For most brain operations, your head will be fixed in a 3-pin frame for the duration of your surgery.
- After optimal body/head positioning, an area on the scalp around the planned incision will be shaved (as little as possible), and the surgical site prepped with sterilizing solution.
- Then, the head and body will be “draped” with only the shaved & prepped planned incision area of the scalp exposed.
- Surgery then begins after another “time out”, to confirm that the correct patient is in the OR, and the correct surgery is being performed on the appropriate side of the head/brain as scheduled.
- Surgery will last anywhere from about 1 hour (for small, convexity meningiomas) to 4-6 hours (for large, complex skull base meningiomas).
- After surgery, a sterile head dressing is applied, general anesthesia reversed, and the endotracheal tube removed as you “wake up” from surgery and anesthesia.
- A quick neurological evaluation is usually performed by the surgeon after you “wake up” from surgery, prior to leaving the OR.
- You will be taken either to the recovery room (“PACU”), followed by a nursing floor or directly to the intensive care unit (“ICU”) for postoperative management.
- Your will meet your family about an hour or two after completion of your surgery in your room.
- You will obtain a postoperative MRI on the day following your surgery to evaluate the extent of surgery.
- You will be encouraged to get out of bed and move around from the day following surgery when your diet will also be advanced, as tolerated, to a regular diet.
- Your hospital stay will vary anywhere from 1 to 3 days (for most meningioma surgery).