What to Expect the Day of Surgery

Most preoperative patients would like to know what to expect the day of surgery. Assuming you have already completed all preoperative measures: blood test, medical history questionnaire, mammogram, prescription medications filled, received and discussed preoperative and postoperative care instructions, you should expect the following:

You are to remove all makeup, perfume and jewelry prior to surgery.

Your PS or nurse will have you change into a surgical gown and possibly slippers. They may offer you a special undergarment or possibly let you wear cotton panties.

Your PS will draw a body map of surgical incisions on your chest and breast areas. Address any issues at this point or any questions you may have with your PS.

Generally, the nurse will start your I.V. (intravenous) to administer medications or solutions through a needle or tube inserted into a vein.

The anesthesiologist or the nurse may hook you up to a monitor(s) possibly around your arm or leg and finger. The anesthesiologist will be closely monitoring all your vital signs through the duration of your surgery.

You will be wheeled into the cold surgery room and be transferred to a surgical table. The anesthesiologist will ask you some questions before administering anesthesia. Answer all questions truthfully and thoroughly.

Anesthesia types:

Local: used to numb a small part of the body allowing you to remain fully alert, usually given by injection.

Regional: used to block sensation in a particular region of the body. I.V. sedation will make you feel sleepy, but you are conscious.

Conscious Sedation: used to reduce pain, you will be in a depressed state of consciousness in which you will be very calm and relaxed, but not unconscious, usually given by I.V. medications.

General: used as a painkiller, muscle relaxant and to block your memory of surgery, normally given by I.V. or inhaled through a mask.

Once general anesthesia is given, its effect takes on quickly. You will not remember any part of the surgery.

When you awaken you should be in a recovery room and you may be feeling very groggy, uncomfortable and nauseous. At this point you may be given pain medication. You will also be wrapped tightly in dressings around your chest area to include a surgical soft cup bra or sport bra depending on your surgeon. The nurse in your recovery room will monitor you very closely. You will remain in the recovery room until your surgeon releases you. Most BA patients go home the same day unless discussed otherwise with your surgeon. Your PS will again go over proper postoperative care instructions and possibly schedule your first postoperative follow up exam.

Once you get authorization to be released, the nurse will help you dress into your own comfortable and loose clothing. You will be escorted out of the surgical facility by the nurse in a wheelchair and helped into the passenger side of your vehicle.

The next 48 to 72 hours is crucial to your recovery and you will need assistance for at least this amount of time. Please make all the necessary arrangements for someone to help you prior to your surgery date.

  • Saturday, 16 June 2012