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Your Surgery Journey: Patient Guide

Before and during your surgery

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Knowing what to expect when you get to the hospital for surgery helps lower anxiety and can make you feel more comfortable.

The healthcare team will work with you and your family to help you have a safe surgery. They’ll ask you questions about your medicines, allergies, and when you last had something to eat or drink. You may be asked the same questions at different stages of your stay. This is done to protect your safety before your surgery and during your stay in the hospital. They’ll also do some health checks, such as checking your pulse and blood pressure.

Your healthcare team will watch or monitor you closely before, during, and after your surgery. They’ll take steps to prevent complications (problems) that can slow your recovery. Some of these may include:​

  • giving you medicines and​ fluids
    • medicine for pain and nausea to help you feel more comfortable
    • blood thinner medicine
    • antibiotics to prevent infection
    • intravenous (IV) fluids when you can’t eat or drink
  • giving you treatments and using equipment
    • warm blankets to help keep you comfortable
    • special air-filled stockings on your legs to help prevent a blood clot​
    • tubes and drains such as a bladder catheter to drain your urine or wires or clips to your and finger to watch your heart rate and oxygen levels (These are removed as soon as it is safe to do so to lower the chance of infection and to make it easier for you to ​move around​ after surgery.​)​

Current as of: October 7, 2022

Author: Surgery Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services