The surgery prep room is where people wait before they enter the operating room to have surgery.
The surgery prep room is where a person spends the final minutes before going to the operating room. A person generally lies on a portable bed with wheels while waiting.
Usually, a person will have an intravenous line (IV) started in the surgery prep room if one is not already in place. An IV is almost always necessary for surgery because of the variety of fluids and medications a person needs in a short time. Inserting an IV involves putting a needle through the skin and into a vein, usually on the hand or forearm. A bag of fluid is hung so that it drips into the IV.
Blood tests may be required, depending on the surgery and any medical problems. More than one person may ask about the person's medical history. Questions may include medical conditions, medications, and allergies. People will be asked when their last meal was. A recent meal may cause the surgery to be cancelled due to risks. It is important to answer all questions completely and honestly.
The heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature may be recorded, sometimes more than once. If consent forms and other legal documents were not previously completed, they will need to be signed before surgery. The anesthesiologist usually comes to talk to the individual about the medications and procedures that will be used to control pain and put the person to sleep for the surgery. A mild sedative may be given to relax the person.
Many different people may come to the person's bedside, most of whom are strangers. In some cases, family members will be allowed to wait in the pre-operative room with the person. At other times, this may not be allowed. If a person is not sure who someone is, he or she should feel free to ask. Any last-minute questions should be asked at this time.
If the person has not met the surgeon yet (usually the case only for emergency surgeries), the surgeon will introduce himself or herself. Alternatively, the surgeon may come by and say hello if the person already knows him or her. At this point, the person is usually wheeled to the operating room on a portable bed or a wheelchair.
Many people are drowsy or even asleep from a sedative given earlier. The actual trip to the operating room and the operation are often not remembered at all. The next thing most people remember is waking up in a surgery recovery room after the surgery.
Principles of Surgery, 1999, Schwartz et al.