The Operating Room

What happens in the Operating Room (OR)?
When your operating team is ready, you’ll be wheeled into the OR while you’re resting on your stretcher. The nurse will show your parent(s) or guardian(s) where the Family Waiting Room is so they can relax until you get to the Recovery Room (where you’ll rest after your surgery). Your parent(s) or guardian(s) must stay in the Family Waiting Room on the third floor, as your surgeon may need to speak with them during your operation. This is because your surgeon may not be able to reach them by cell phone, since service may not be available in the elevator or other areas of the hospital.

Once you’re in the operating room, your surgical team will help you get from the stretcher to the operating table/bed. The team will ask you your name, date of birth, and what procedure you’re having done that day. This may seem unnecessary, but it’s part of a required safety check. The pulse oximeter will be placed on your finger, and 3 white EKG stickers will be placed on your chest. These round sticky pads are connected to a machine so your heart beat can be monitored on a screen that looks like a small TV.

Once you’re settled on the OR bed and you’ve been hooked up to the monitors, the anesthesia team will give you more medicine through your IV that will make you feel very sleepy. You’ll be covered with warm blankets because it usually feels cold in the OR. You may have a mask placed on your face to give you extra oxygen to breathe. Some people say that the inside of the oxygen mask smells like a new shower curtain. You can also ask to have a special scent (such as bubble gum, strawberry, lemon, etc.) placed inside your mask.

Your operating room nurses, anesthesia care provider, and your surgeon will stay¬†right beside you as you go off to sleep. You’ll stay asleep during your surgery. When your procedure is over, the anesthesia team will give you medicine that will make you wake up. It will seem as if you were asleep for only a few minutes. The team will then help you get back onto the stretcher and bring you to the Recovery Room.

Updated: 6/11/2013