Before, During & After Surgery

Before Your Surgery

A day or two before your surgery we will call you to discuss your case, your health history, and the nature of your procedure. We will also revisit much of this with you after you arrive at the hospital on your day of surgery. 

It is important to not eat or drink prior to surgery. 

Fasting minimizes the danger of vomiting material into your lungs while you are asleep during your operation. If your surgery is in the morning this could mean eating and drinking nothing after midnight—or even longer—before your operation. Take in nothing, not even water. If your operation is scheduled for later in the day, we’ll let you know when you should begin the fasting period.

If you smoke, we strongly suggest that you stop smoking as soon as you know you will be having surgery. While two weeks or more without smoking prior to the operation is best, even a day without a cigarette can make a difference.

We may change your use of medications, both prescriptions and over the counter, before surgery.

During our pre-operative visits, please let us know about all medications you take, including vitamins, supplements and other over the counter drugs, and please be sure to tell us how often you take them and the day and time of your last dose. In this way, we can make sure you are physically strong and the anesthesia works at its best.

What happens during surgery?

Once you are prepared for surgery, an IV catheter will be inserted, usually into your arm or hand. Most anesthesia medications are delivered through this catheter—it is also used to supply fluid therapy and administer medications. Children may also require IV catheters, but they are put to sleep beforehand to lessen their stress.

The anesthetist will use a wide variety of techniques and equipment to monitor your condition and maintain it, ensuring your safety during your surgery. YOUR anesthetist is there throughout the operation and will make adjustments when necessary to ensure the best outcome.

Post surgery recovery

Recovery time from anesthesia is variable, depending on the type of medications used, type and duration of surgery, and the overall health of the patient.

You will awaken and recover from the anesthesia in a specialized unit called the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). Your anesthesia provider will accompany you from the operating room to the PACU, and will deliver you to nurses with specialized training. These nurses will stay with you to closely monitor your vital signs and overall condition. You will remain in the PACU until you have met criteria for discharge to your hospital room or home.

You will be drowsy and may have mild confusion as you awake from general anesthesia—this is normal. If you have pain or nausea, tell your nurse immediately, and medication will be administered for your comfort. You may even feel drowsy and/or tired for a few days after your surgery. You may also have a sore throat due to the use of a breathing tube—this should go away within 24-48 hours.

“I will never go anywhere else!!  The staff at Baylor Scott & White Waxahachie is the absolute best!” – Inpatient comment, 2013


“My anesthetist stayed with me and answered concerns when the medicine began to take effect.” – 29 year old female, outpatient procedure


“Keep up the great work.” – Laura, 2013 Patient Survey