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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 lessen anxiety and makes 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. They will also do some health checks, such as taking your blood pressure.

Your healthcare team takes steps to prevent complications that can slow your recovery, such as:

  • giving you medicine for pain and nausea to help you feel more comfortable
  • giving you blood thinner medicine or putting special air-filled stockings on your legs to help prevent a blood clot
  • giving you antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) to help prevent infection
  • keeping you warm with special gowns or blankets to help prevent infection
  • giving you the right amount of IV fluids ‒ This is done by the anesthesiologist (a specially trained doctor who gives medicine that puts you to sleep and prevents you from feeling pain during surgery). They will also give you any other medicines you need to manage your care safely.
  • putting in tubes and drains such as a bladder catheter, if you need        ​​them​–​ ​These are removed as soon as possible to lower the chance of infection and to make it easier for you to move around after surgery.
  • monitoring you carefully before, during, and after your surgery​

Current as of: May 31, 2019

Author: Surgery Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services