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Health Library : Surgical Care

 

The Day of Surgery / Getting Ready For Surgery / The Operating Room

What to expect the day of surgery:

On the day of surgery, you will meet with the medical team involved in your surgery. This may include your surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and various other healthcare professionals.

Getting ready for surgery:

You may expect some of the following to occur:

  • You may need to change into a hospital gown.
  • You will receive an identification bracelet.
  • An intravenous catheter (IV) may be inserted in your forearm or other location for anesthetics and other medications.
  • You may be transported on a stretcher to the operating room.

What does the operating room look like?

Picture of the operating room during surgery

The operating room can be an intimidating, busy place, with a lot of unfamiliar technical equipment. The following is a brief list of equipment you may see in the operating room. However, each operating room varies depending on the type of surgery being performed.

  • The operating table in the center of the room can be raised, lowered, and tilted in any direction.
  • The operating lamp allows for brilliant illumination without shadows during surgery.
  • You will be connected to various monitors that keep track of your vital signs, such as your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • A ventilator or breathing machine stands by the head of the operating table. If your procedure is done under general anesthesia, a ventilator will breathe for you during the procedure by moving oxygen and air in and out of your lungs.
  • Sterile instruments to be used during surgery are arranged on a stainless steel table.
  • A diathermy machine, to control bleeding, usually is present.
  • If the surgery requires it, a heart-lung machine, or other specialized equipment, may be brought into the room.
  • The operating room will likely be cold; this is done to minimize bacterial growth.

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