What To Expect In The PACU
Before Tubal Reversal Surgery
The Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), or Recovery Room is where you will spend some time on the day of your tubal reversal by Dr. Berger. You’ve likely spent a lot of time researching tubal reversal surgery, scheduling, filling out registration paperwork, obtaining required blood tests and making travel, hotel and childcare arrangements. In the midst of all this, you may finally have time to take a deep breath and wonder, "What will my surgery day be like?"
The PACU at Chapel Hill Surgical Center
Everything is organized to provide you and your loved one with maximum safety, comfort, and personal care. The atmosphere is peaceful. There is no TV and cell phones are not permitted. This contributes to the overall calm and professional atmosphere and allows couples to focus on each other on this special day. The nurse who checks you in will also recover you, review instructions with your companion, and provide for all of your needs. Other PACU nurses may also assist you, since they work as a team. They are able to do this because of the high staff-to-patient ratio at Chapel Hill Surgical Center. You and your companion are free to ask questions at any time.
On the morning of your surgery, you and your responsible adult will check in at a specificied time at the Surgical Center. One of the PACU nurses will bring you back to the PACU area. She will verify your name, date of birth, date of your last menstrual period, and whether you have any allergies. You will be asked to remove all clothing except socks (panties and a pad are OK if you are having your period) and to change into your surgery garments: gown, robe, head cover and footies. Don’t worry, you will be all covered up both in front and back. Make sure you have removed all jewelry. You’ll put your clothes in a locker and head into the PACU or the lab to complete the check-in process. Don’t forget to put a pin in Dr. Berger’s United States map, representing YOU – this map shows where our patients have come from since 2000, and is already really full!
Your nurse will ask you a number of questions, confirm your scheduled surgery, check your vital signs, verify allergies and other pertinent medical information, mark your surgical site, and place an ID bracelet on your wrist. These and other measures are taken to ensure your safety. Some questions may be repetitive, and your responses are important and help to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
After you speak with the anesthesiologist, your PACU nurse will give you your preoperative medications, according to the anesthesiologist’s orders. These will not put you to sleep – you won’t go to sleep until you are in the operating room. Now it is time for your IV, which many patients dread more than anything else about the surgery. Please try not to worry! The nurse will inject a small amount of numbing medicine with a tiny needle under the skin of your hand or wrist, which makes the actual IV catheter insertion virtually painless. Most IV’s are placed on the first try. If you are a "difficult stick," the nurse won’t keep trying – she’ll ask for assistance from the anesthesia staff. You’ll receive IV fluids and an antibiotic to minimize the risk of infection. Then you will relax in a recliner while waiting for your tubal reversal. A warm bag of fluid will be placed on your lower abdomen to stimulate blood flow to the area and a warm blanket placed over you. Most patients find these very comforting. You and your companion will be given a set of discharge instructions to review while you wait. Your companion is welcome to take a drink from the refrigerator or eat or drink any snacks you have brought.
Time for Surgery
The nurse who will be in the operating room with you will meet you, verify your information (again!) and ask if you have any questions. Then she will take you back to the operating room. On the way your companion will be shown where to wait in the reception area. When you go into your OR, you will see a number of other staff who will be new to you. These are surgical technicians, and they’ll be assisting Dr. Berger with your procedure. They have been busy preparing the operating room and instruments. Some of our surgical technicians are males, so please do not be surprised about this. Most likely you will not see Dr. Berger in the OR – you’ll be asleep before he comes in. Please relax and know that you are in the best of hands. When you wake up, your surgery will be finished!Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) page 2