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Your surgery

After you arrive in hospital for your surgery, you will meet your surgical team, who will take you through what is coming up and ensure that your procedure is a success.

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Your surgical team

Your surgical team will usually consist of:

Your surgeon

Who will be responsible for performing the surgery and who will be checking on your progress and recovery while you are in the ward.

Your nurses

Who will be monitoring your progress during surgery, in the recovery room and in the ward, and with whom you are likely to have the most interaction.

Your anaesthetist

Who will administer your anaesthesia and will monitor your vital signs during surgery and while you recover.

A clinical pharmacist

Who will consult on your medication.

Depending on the type of surgery you are having, you may meet other healthcare professionals, such as a physiotherapist.

Remember, you can ask your healthcare team any questions you may have so that you feel more reassured and confident about your surgery. And make sure that you discuss with them any pain you experience after the surgery.

Your stay in the recovery room

After surgery, you will be moved to the recovery room – also called the post-anaesthesia care unit, or PACU – while you recover from anaesthesia. How long you stay here will depend on how quickly you wake up and the type of surgery you have had, but this will typically be between 1 and 3 hours.

Your nurses will be your key contacts here, taking care of you while you are in the recovery room, closely monitoring your vital signs, examining your surgical incisions and ensuring that you are receiving enough fluids. They will also administer your pain relief; alternatively, if you have selected to manage your pain with a patient-controlled method of analgesia, your nurses will show you how to use it here.

Keeping an eye on your pain

Your nurses will also be monitoring your pain levels. So don’t be surprised if your nurse approaches you with what is known as the pain scale, asking you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10 when you are not moving and when you try to move.

Pain severity at rest

no pain

worst imaginable pain


Pain severity with movement

no pain

worst imaginable pain


Beginning your recovery

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