What Happens on the Day of Surgery
Plan to arrive at the hospital 2 hours before your surgery time and check in at Patient Access. Be sure to bring all of your paperwork with you.
After checking in, you will go to a pre-op holding room, then to the operating room, and you will awaken in the recovery area with a new hip or knee!
• In the pre-op holding area you will get a gown and we will put your clothes and belongings in a locked room. (They will be brought to you when you are in your room.) A nurse will go over your paperwork, take your vital signs and make sure everything is in order for your surgery.
• Then you will see your surgeon. One thing your surgeon will do is sign the leg that will be operated on. You may be asked several times to say which leg is being operated on; this is standard procedure to prevent errors.
• You will also meet with your anesthetist, who will make sure you are fit for anesthesia and discuss the plan for pain medication after surgery.
• Be aware that it is possible for your surgery to be postponed if you are sick or if you have eaten when you were instructed not to. If you are sick the day before the surgery, let us know; we may decide before you come in to postpone it. Fevers, respiratory infections, breaks in the skin or a stomach virus can all complicate surgery and recovery.
• As you are getting ready for surgery you will be started on an IV. (After the surgery, you will keep the IV to continue to receive fluids and medications.) Your family member or caregiver can stay with you until shortly before you are taken to the operating room.
• You will go to the recovery area—the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU)—where you will stay for about 2–3 hours. The PACU is a large, open room in which many patients recover. There you will receive nasal oxygen, which you will continue to receive overnight. We will monitor your vital signs.
• When your vitals return to baseline and you are able to stay awake, respond to commands and manage your pain, we will move you to your room.
Communicating with Your Accompanying Family Member or Friend:
Including the pre-op time, your operation and your time in the recovery area, your family member will be waiting about 6 hours on your surgery day. He or she may wait in the hospital’s waiting area or go somewhere nearby. If he or she leaves the hospital, we will provide a phone number to call to check your status. (Be sure to bring the phone number with you!)
Your surgeon will be in touch when the surgery is over to report how it went and how you are doing.
See more “Info for Your Family Members & Caregivers."
Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always personally seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have related to your health or medical condition. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read in our emails, web pages or other electronic communications.