General details about the operation
For every operation and for many examinations, preparations are already required on the day before. Of course, all necessary steps are explained to you again in detail.
In principle, however, a planned operation passes off as follows:
On the eve of operation:
The anaesthetist introduces himself, makes an anamnesis and informs you about the narcosis: Which narcosis will be necessary and sensible? What are the risks of the narcosis? It is also settled if you are getting a drug before the operation and if necessary, which one it will be.
Your ward doctor talks to you about the necessary preparations, about what is done during operation and which problems could possibly occur.
As a preventive against thrombosis you will get a Heparin injection on the evening before; A nursing help will inject it under the skin of belly or thigh. There may be other preliminary measures that are carried out by the nursing staff in the late afternoon or in the evening. They also will tell you at what time you are not allowed to eat anymore.
Please do not forget to remove possible nail varnish: Changes on foot- and fingernails are giving important indications about your condition during and after narcosis.
On the day of operation
.... you must stay NPO. Staying NPO certainly is tolerable as long as operation starts at 8.00 a.m. Unfortunately, we cannot promise this first date: The order is not only determined by the kind of operation but has to be fixed anew in case of emergencies. Sometimes, the estimated time of a previous operation cannot be kept so that your operation again must be postponed. So, even if it is easy to say but hard to bear: Please have patience.
Early in the morning, your nursing staff will give you a tranquilliser - if necessary - as well as a surgical shirt, surgical stockings and a surgical cap. Please think of taking off all jewellery.
When your date is fixed, a nurse/a male nurse will bring you with your bed to the operating room. The operating team will receive you in the lock of the operating room. As you are driven through "public" floors you can put on your surgical cap not until you are in the area of the lock. A possible denture may also be removed only just there. It will be brought back to your room immediately by the nursing staff.
After "minor" interventions, you will return to your ward after about two hours in the recovery room.
After narcosis is over, we reckon on at least six hours till the patient is allowed to have something to drink. Therefore, the need of liquid is compensated for by infusion (drip). According to the intervention it may take even longer until you can have something to drink and/or eat again.
It is totally natural to be tired and exhausted after each intervention. Nevertheless, in this phase an increasing mobilisation (exercise) is absolutely necessary. As a preventive against pneumonia, thrombosis, etc. you should get up for a short while one day after intervention at the latest or at least sit on the edge of the bed. The nursing staff will help you. Please on no account get up on your own the first time.
After "major" operations, mostly many different controls and checks will be necessary so that you will be transferred to the intensive care unit at first.
Of course, you can receive visitors there as well. However, as you will still be quite exhausted on the day of operation it certainly would be better to receive your relatives not until the following day.
It is of course possible to have short information about your condition on the phone. The nursing staff or the doctors, however, are not allowed to pass on detailed information by the phone.