Your anaesthetist will reverse the anaesthesia after completion of your surgery and will accompany you to the Recovery or Post-Anaesthesia Care Unit.
Once there you will be looked after by a specially-trained Recovery Unit nurse under the directions of your anaesthetist and surgeon. Any relevant medical history and issues during surgery will be handed over to your Recovery nurse.
Whilst in Recovery we will ensure that you are breathing well, your circulation and vital signs are stable, and your level of consciousness assessed. Your surgical wound dressings will also be assessed. We will also attend to keeping you warm and comfortable, including treating any nausea and discomfort that you may have.
When you regain consciousness, it is common to feel drowsy, have some blurred vision, or a sore or dry throat. You can expect to have an oxygen mask over your face, an intravenous line or ‘drip’ in your arm. If your anaesthetist has prescribed PCA (patient-controlled analgesia), or epidural or any other advanced pain-relieving methods, this will be commenced by the Recovery nurse for your comfort.
You may expect to stay in Recovery for approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
After this time, when you are conscious, comfortable and stable you will be accompanied by your Recovery nurse to either the ward or Day Surgical Unit.
You will be cared for by a ward nurse under the directions of your surgeon and resident doctor. However, if you have any concerns regarding your recovery from the anaesthetic you may speak to your anaesthetist.
To prevent some common postoperative complications, we encourage you to mobilise, sit out on a chair or take short walks (initially with the help of a nurse). Drinking clear fluids is more important than having solid meals to help ease nausea or loss of appetite that you may have.
You will be encouraged to sit, drink fluids, have something to eat, and mobilise under the supervision of DSU nurses. You will also be provided with instructions regarding caring for your surgical wound and a prescription for pain relief if required.
You will then be discharged from DSU. We require you to be accompanied by a responsible adult who will drive/escort you home and help look after you.
For 24 hours after your anaesthetic, you should NOT drive, handle machinery, sign legal documents, drink alcohol or take sedative medications.
Your judgement will be impaired for a time following your anaesthesia. It is likely that insurance companies will be concerned if you drive before 24 hours. Any opioid pain relief will extend this period of time.