After surgery, you will go to our Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). The PACU staff cares for patients recovering from general, local or regional anesthesia. You will remain in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit for approximately 30 to 90 minutes. The length of time depends on the type of anesthesia you have along with how quickly your body and mind become alert as the medication wears off. Because you will be drifting in and out of a very sleepy state, it may feel like you only spent a few minutes in the PACU
What to Expect in the PACU
We will closely care for and monitor you by:
- Checking vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respirations, temperature and oxygenation saturation)
- Assessing your pain level or signs of nausea and providing medications appropriately
- Observing the surgical site
- Completing any additional orders from your doctor
- Offering you ice chips
It is natural to be concerned about pain after surgery. Our PACU team is here to make you as comfortable as possible. Your nurse will ask you to "measure" your pain, as well as to explain where it hurts and what it feels like. Based on your input, your doctor and nurse will administer pain therapy, so it is important to respond honestly.
For loved ones who are waiting
In the PACU, the care and safety of our patients come first. We comply with the HIPAA law and it is our obligation to protect the privacy of every patient coming out of surgery. Therefore, family and friends are not able to visit the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. We will reunite you with your loved ones as soon as you are ready to go home or are in your room if you are staying in the hospital.
Learn More About the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at Mercy Gilbert
If you have questions or concerns about anesthesia or what to expect after surgery, please call us anytime at (480) 728-7140.