After your Surgery

What happens after my surgery?

After your surgery, you will be taken to the Post-Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU). It is also called the Recovery Room. This room has other patients and may be busy and noisy.

Your Nurse checks your pulse and blood pressure often. You may have an oxygen mask that covers your nose and mouth. The Nurse calls you by your first name as you wake up and may show you how to do deep breathing and coughing exercises. A member of the operating room team will update your family.

Everyone experiences pain differently after surgery. It is important to tell your Nurse if you are having pain.

How long do I stay in the recovery room?

You may stay in the the recovery room for several hours or overnight, depending on the care you need. The time that you need to stay depends on your health and how you recover from the anesthetic. When your condition is stable, you will be taken to the nursing unit.

What happens when I leave PACU and go to the in-patient nursing unit?

While you are on the nursing unit, a team of health care professionals will look after you. You may see different team members depending on your needs.

What will I eat and drink?

If needed, you will have an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm. This is to give you fluids and medications until you are drinking well.

  • You will start drinking liquids as soon as it is safe for you to do so, and if it’s right for you.
  • Depending on the results of your assessment by your health care team, you may be given solid food to eat.
  • Some patients may need a special diet, special meals or a feeding tube after surgery. If you need any of these, your health care team will talk to you about this.

How will my recovery be monitored?

A member of your health care team will see you every day. You may speak with your Surgeon at any time by letting a member of the nursing team know.

The health care team will tell you how you are doing and answer your questions. Your vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, breathing rate and pain score) will be checked throughout your hospital stay.

You may have blood tests and diagnostics tests such as CT scan, MRI, x-rays and ultrasounds after your surgery.

You may need blood tests done every day to monitor a special condition (such as blood sugar levels).


It is important for you to know as much as possible about the medications you will be taking after your surgery, including:

  • The name of the medication
  • Why you need it
  • How much you take
  • When you take it
  • Any side effects or things you need to know when taking this medication.

When you are ready to go home, you will be given you a prescription for any new medications. The Nurse or Pharmacist will review your medications with you.