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VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

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Day of Surgery

When you arrive at the hospital on the morning of your surgery, please swipe your VA ID card at the kiosk on the 1st floor to register yourself in the hospital. Then proceed to the 3rd floor of the hospital and check into the Same Day Surgery Unit. Please swipe your VA ID card again at the kiosk on the 3rd floor. This will notify the nurses that you are here for your surgery. After you register, have a seat in the waiting room and someone will come out to bring you back to the Same Day Surgery unit.

A patient with an IV line lying in a bed.

A nurse will help you get ready for your surgery and the anesthesia doctor will talk to you about the medicines they will use during the surgery. A member of the anesthesia team will insert an IV tube into a vein in your arm for you to receive medicine during the procedure.

A surgeon working in an operating room.

Your family members can stay with you until you are taken to the operating room. At that time they will then have to go to the waiting room.

Following your surgery, you will go to the post-anesthesia care unit or recovery room to wake up. The nurses will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, surgery site and comfort level.

Some pain is to be expected. The Pain Rating Scale allows you to rate your pain as a number from 1-10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst you can imagine. Use the rating scale to rate your pain in order to receive the appropriate amount of medication.

There are different types of pain medication. Your doctor may order a PCA, which is patient controlled IV pain medicine and may be used for the first day after surgery. Your doctor may also order pain medicine that you take by mouth in addition to the IV pain medicine. It's important that your pain is controlled so that you can rest comfortably and recover.

Once you are completely awake, you will be moved to your own room on a nursing floor or back to the Same Day Procedure Unit for discharge to home.