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The Day of Your Surgery

On the day of your surgery you will report to the designated hospital for your surgery: Tisch Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, NYU Downtown or the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Before Surgery

Before going into the operating room, you will meet with the nursing staff and the anesthesiologists. You may also see your surgeon, who will place surgical marks on your body, answer any questions, and make sure that the permission for the operation is settled.

Once everything is in order, the nursing staff and anesthesiologists will take you to the operating room. Your family and friends will be directed to a waiting room during the procedure.

In the operating room you will receive medication to relax you while the anesthesia team prepares you for your surgery. Their preparation involves a number of procedures, including:

  1. Placing intravenous lines to provide you with fluids or blood during the procedure.

  2. Placing a catheter in one of your arteries to carefully monitor your blood pressure.

  3. Placing a pain catheter, also known as an epidural catheter, in your back to directly deliver medicine to the nerves that control pain in your chest. The pain catheter is intended to alleviate post-operative pain by allowing you to cough and breathe deeply after the surgery with minimal discomfort, which helps reduce the chances of post-operative lung complications.

  4. Administering medication to allow you to gently fall asleep so that a breathing tube can be placed in your airway. This will ensure that you have the proper amount of oxygen during the procedure.

  5. Placing a catheter in your bladder to drain your urine during the operation and post-operatively.

You will then be carefully positioned on a padded operating table so that the surgical incision can be performed. You are completely asleep during this preparation and during the subsequent operation.

After Surgery

An anesthesiologist will start the epidural catheter to reduce your pain as you wake up. Once you are awake and strong enough, the breathing tube will be removed from your airway and you be placed on a hospital bed and taken to the recovery room. The surgeon will meet with your family and friends to discuss the results of your operation and when they can see you.