Preparing for Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I request an anesthesiologist?

Yes, you can make requests. It is best to request several names, if possible. We make every effort to honor requests whenever our schedule allows.

What kind of anesthesia will I have?

The type of anesthesia you have will depend on the plan of care that is developed by the anesthesiologist and the surgeon. A specific anesthetic may be requested. However, after considering your history and physical exam, your anesthesiologist will recommend a particular anesthetic that is most beneficial for you. Sometimes, you may be given a choice between two or three options. However, the most common anesthetic we give is a general anesthetic, which allows the patient to be in a deep sleep.

Will I wake up during surgery, or feel anything during surgery?

With general anesthesia, it is extremely rare to wake up or feel anything during surgery. Awareness is a rare complication of general anesthesia. The most common form of awareness is the recall of voices and sounds. It is exceedingly rare to have any recall of pain during surgery. With IV sedation and regional anesthesia (spinal, epidural or nerve block), you will receive medication so that you do not feel any pain during surgery. However, it is normal to be aware of your surroundings.

Will I have any unpleasant side effects after surgery?

You will have some post-operative pain in most instances. Side effects of anesthesia can include sore throat, nausea, muscle aches, headache and difficulty urinating.

Insurance billing

We will bill your insurance company for our anesthesiology services for those procedures covered by your health insurance policy. You will be responsible for any necessary co-payment, deductible or charges not covered. For those procedures not covered by any health insurance policy, private arrangements can be made.

Patients Going Home the Day of Surgery

Why can’t I get my surgery appointment time until the afternoon before the surgery?

Our surgery department is part of the Hospital and must accommodate emergencies and inpatients as well as those patients who are scheduled in advance. As a result, the next-day surgery schedule is not finalized until the afternoon prior to your scheduled surgery.

Can I request to have my surgery at a certain time in the day that is convenient for me and my family?

Your surgeon may be able to accommodate your requests, but there are many factors that contribute to what time your surgery is scheduled.

If my surgery is scheduled later in the day (i.e., 1 p.m.), am I allowed to eat breakfast?

No. Since there are often changes in the surgery schedule, there is a possibility that your surgery could be moved to an earlier time. Your anesthesiologist will not give you anesthesia if there is a possibility of food in your stomach.

How long will I be in the Hospital?

You will be asked to come to the Hospital one to two hours before your scheduled surgery time. Most day surgery patients are discharged about two hours after the surgery is completed. This will, of course, depend on the type of surgery that you have.

Will I see my surgeon after the operation?

Your surgeon will talk to you in the recovery room (Post Anesthesia Care Unit) shortly after you awaken. Due to the effect of anesthetic drugs, most patients will not remember this conversation. In addition, your surgeon will update your family members waiting in the surgical waiting area.

When can I go home after surgery?

As long as there are no unexpected reactions to your surgery or medications, your surgeon and anesthesiologist will allow you to be discharged when you have met the discharge criteria, including stable vital signs, and:

  • Your post operative pain is under control
  • Your discharge instructions have been explained to you
  • Your family member arrives to take you home

Why can’t I drive myself home?

The anesthetic drugs used during surgery remain in your system for 24 hours. Although you may feel fine, your reflexes and judgment will be impaired. Therefore, a responsible adult must accompany you home, and we recommend that a responsible adult remain with you at home for 24 hours after your surgery.

Can I take a taxi home?

You may take a taxi as long as you are accompanied by a responsible adult (not the taxi driver).

Patients Admitted after Surgery

Why can’t I get my surgery appointment time until the afternoon before the surgery?

Our surgery department is part of the Hospital and must accommodate emergencies and inpatients as well as those patients who are scheduled in advance. As a result, the next-day surgery schedule is not finalized until the prior afternoon.

Can I request to have my surgery at a certain time in the day that is convenient for me and my family?

Your surgeon may be able to accommodate your requests, but there are many factors that contribute to what time your surgery is scheduled.

If my surgery is scheduled later in the day (i.e., 1 p.m.), am I allowed to eat breakfast?

No. Since there are often changes in the surgery schedule, there is a possibility that your surgery could be moved to an earlier time. Your anesthesiologist will not give you anesthesia if there is a possibility of food in your stomach.

Will I see my surgeon after the operation?

Your surgeon will talk to you in the recovery room (Post Anesthesia Care Unit) shortly after you awaken. Due to the effect of anesthetic drugs, most patients will not remember this conversation. In addition, your surgeon will update your family members.

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Network

This site is part of the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare network of Web sites, which covers a variety of topics using the same philosophy: When it comes to medical care, we know that you have a lot of options. And we want you to know that you're more than a patient to us. You're an individual. We would appreciate the opportunity to provide you with state-of-the-art medical care and down-to-earth, personalized attention.

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