What Happens Right After Surgery?
After surgery, you will be taken to the Recovery Room, known formally as the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, or PACU. You will still be quite groggy from the surgical anesthesia. The anesthesia team will carefully follow your progress as the anesthetic wears off.
General anesthesia is used for all types of weight loss surgery. This means that you are completely asleep during surgery. A breathing tube is inserted in your mouth while you are sleeping. While most patients have the breathing tube removed as they wake up in the operating room, it may be safer in some cases to leave the tube in and remove it in the PACU. Your anesthesiologist will make the decision as to when it is safe to remove the tube.
What Kind of Pain Medicine is Given?
In the PACU, your anesthesia team will help assess what type of postoperative pain control will be best for you. If they feel that you will benefit from a PCA device (patient-controlled analgesia, where you get a dose of pain medication every time you press a button) they will set this up while you are here.
How Long Do I Stay in the Recovery Room?
Some patients remain in the PACU for several hours. Others remain overnight.Once you have fully recovered from the effects of the general anesthesia, the PACU team will transfer you up to your hospital room. If they feel that more intensive monitoring is required, you may be transferred to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) or the Stepdown Unit instead.
Do Patients Routinely go the the Intensive Care Unit?
Patients do not routinely go to the Intensive Care Unit, or ICU, after weight loss surgery. However, if it is not safe for the breathing tube to be removed, or if your surgeon has other concerns about your progress, you may require an ICU stay.