When your surgery is over, you will be transferred back to the Surgery Center or to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), sometimes called “the recovery room,” where you will recover from anesthesia. You will be observed closely by specially trained nurses until the anesthesia wears off.

  • We will closely monitor your heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing with the same equipment used in the operating room.
  • Oxygen may be administered through a mask or nasal cannula (small prongs resting at the edge of your nostrils).
  • To assist circulation, elastic stockings and/or sequential compression devices may be on your legs.
  • Our staff will check the dressing over your incision frequently.
  • Depending on your surgery, you may have special drainage tubes that collect either urine or blood; these will be removed at a later time.
  • If you needed a special breathing tube while under anesthesia, you may wake with a mild sore throat; that will subside quickly.
  • You will remain in the PACU until you are awake and vital signs are normal; this can take from one to a few hours.

Visitation in the PACU
During the first stage of recovery, which can be approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour, visitors are not permitted. Visitation is allowed in the second stage of recovery and we will reunite you with your family member or visitor as soon as possible.

Pain Management
Peace of mind and comfort are a priority at Ochsner. Pain control after surgery helps you enjoy greater comfort while you heal. With less pain, you can start walking sooner, improve the depth of your breathing, and get your strength back quickly. You may even leave the hospital sooner. Your doctors and nurses will ask you about your comfort goal and pain because they want to know everything is progressing as expected. A numeric pain intensity scale (0-10) will be used.

Pain control measures may include oral medications (pain pills), intramuscular injections, suppositories, or medication delivered through a small plastic tube in your vein (an IV) or through an epidural catheter in your back. Non medical treatment, such as massage, hot/cold packs, relaxation, music, or other distracting pastimes may be used.

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