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After Surgery

An anesthesiologist will begin administering pain medication through 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. You will 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.

In the recovery room, a nurse will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory status. You will be still attached to a cardiac monitor and may also have the following:

  • Chest Tubes: Depending on your surgery, you may have one or more chest tubes around your lung(s). They are connected to a drainage system to help remove excess fluid and air from your chest cavity.

  • Intravenous (IV) Lines: These are placed to provide necessary medications and to supply fluids until you are able to adequately eat and drink.

  • Epidural Catheter: This may be placed in your spine to provide pain medicine during your recovery.

  • Urinary Catheter: This drains the urine out of the bladder and may remain in place for several days after the surgery.

Several hours after surgery you will be transferred to a post-operative unit where you will continue on the cardiac monitor and be encouraged to cough and breathe deeply.

That evening you will be started on a clear liquid diet and will remain in the post-operative unit until your physician feels you are ready to be transferred to a regular room.

Visiting Hours

For information about visiting hours, please contact your hospital directly:

  • Tisch Hospital: (212) 263-7300
  • Bellevue Hospital: (212) 562-1000
  • Veterans Affairs Hospital: (212) 686-7500