After your operation, you will be taken to the recovery room until you are safely awake and recovered from the effects of anesthesia. The recovery room nurse provides constant care. He or she will take your blood pressure and pulse every 15 minutes, check your dressing (if you have one) and your IV. In most cases, oxygen will be given by way of a small short tube placed under your nose or through an oxygen mask. The recovery room nurse will ask you to take deep breaths and cough. This will help expand your lungs to prevent complications such as pneumonia. You will be asked to move your feet and hands as part of the recovery process.
Your level of comfort will also be carefully evaluated by your nurse. Medications will be available if you have pain or discomfort.
As the anesthetic wears off, noises may sound louder than usual. You may have blurred vision, a dry mouth, shaking or feel cold. Warm blankets and a moist cloth to wet your lips will be available along with other measures to keep you comfortable and safe.
Your doctor will usually talk with your family to let them know how you are doing.
The amount of time spent in the recovery room will vary depending on several factors including the type of operation you had and the type of anesthetic. The minimum recovery room stay is 30 minutes. Many patients express concern about things they may say while they are under the anesthetic or are regaining consciousness. Actually, patients talk very little during this time, so there is little need for concern. Confidentiality is always maintained.