Health Library

Health Library

Preparing For Surgery: The Operating Room

What to expect the day of surgery

On the day of surgery, you will meet with the medical team involved in your surgery. This may include your surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and various other health care professionals.

Getting ready for surgery

You may expect some of the following to occur:

  • You may need to change into a hospital gown.

  • You will receive an identification bracelet.

  • An intravenous catheter (IV) may be inserted in your forearm or other location for anesthetics and other medications.

  • You may be transported on a stretcher to the operating room.

What does the operating room look like?

Picture of the operating room during surgery

The operating room can be an intimidating, busy place, with a lot of unfamiliar technical equipment. The following is a brief list of equipment you may see in the operating room. However, each operating room varies depending on the type of surgery being done.

  • The operating table in the center of the room can be raised, lowered, and tilted in any direction.

  • The operating lamp allows for brilliant illumination without shadows during surgery.

  • You will be connected to various monitors that keep track of your vital signs, such as your heart rate and blood pressure.

  • A ventilator or breathing machine stands by the head of the operating table. If your procedure is done under general anesthesia, a ventilator will breathe for you during the procedure by moving oxygen and air in and out of your lungs.

  • Sterile instruments to be used during surgery are arranged on a stainless steel table.

  • A diathermy machine, to control bleeding, usually is present.

  • If the surgery requires it, a heart-lung machine, or other specialized equipment, may be brought into the room.

  • The operating room will likely be cold to minimize bacterial growth.

Preparing For Surgery: The Operating Room - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Last Review Date: 2014-10-27T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2014-11-03T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2014-11-03T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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